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Quinton de Kock Set to Miss Part of India Test Series on Paternity Leave

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Quinton de Kock will miss at least the third Test between South Africa and India as he awaits the birth of his first child. De Kock’s wife Sasha is expected to give birth in early January, which could rule him out of both the second and third Tests, especially given bio-bubble conditions. South Africa’s selection convener Victor Mpitsang confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he expects de Kock “to miss the last Test”, which will leave the team without their wicketkeeper and key lower-middle-order batter. Should de Kock need to leave the bubble earlier than the last Test, for example during the second Test, it is unlikely he will be able to return to the biosecure environment in time for the final Test. One of Kyle Verreynne and Ryan Rickelton will play in de Kock’s place. Verreynne made his debut on South Africa’s tour of West Indies in June in the absence of vice-captain Temba Bavuma, who was injured. He scored 39 runs in three innings. He has since played three first-class matches for Western Province and scored one half-century. Rickelton, who is uncapped, has had a better recent run. He is 10th on the first-class batting charts this season and has scored two centuries in his last three games as well as led the Lions to the top of the points table. The last time de Kock sat out a South Africa game was at the T20 World Cup, where he opted out of the second group-stage match after refusing to comply with a CSA board directive to take the knee. De Kock subsequently took a knee in the remaining three matches. CSA has since confirmed that the national team will take a knee throughout the summer. This Test series will be the first time South Africa’s red-ball team collectively takes a knee after the board gave players the choice to take a knee, raise a fist, or stand to attention on their tour of the West Indies.

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