Elgar 'shocked' by De Kock Test retirement

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Dean Elgar was "shocked" by Quinton de Kock's decision to retire from Test cricket but says South Africa have to "get over it and move on".

De Kock dropped a bombshell after a defeat against India in the first Test at Centurion last week by calling time on his Test career at the age of 29.

The wicketkeeper-batsman revealed he wanted to spend "more time with his growing family" rather than continue playing for his country in the longest format.

Proteas captain Elgar was taken aback by De Kock's announcement, but knows his side cannot dwell on the loss of such an important player ahead of the second match of the series against Virat Kohli's team.

Elgar said: "I was pretty shocked. I wasn't aware this was going to happen, but sitting down with Quinny that evening and him explaining to me the reason.

"I very much respect his decision and fully understand the space he is in."

Opening batter Elgar said De Kock's decision to quit is another setback for South Africa, who have had issues to contend with on and off the field

He added: "It's disappointing. Not having Quinny around is disappointing for me. It's something I need to get over because I know there's other talented players within our system that I need to give a lot of attention to now and that's perfectly fine.

"As tough as it is, it's one of those things you need to crack on with and get over as quickly as possible.

"The players respect the environment, we've realised we've had quite a few setbacks over recent times and this is just another one we need to be clever around and we need to get over because the game moves on. I don't see this affecting the players and them still being shocked about his retirement."

Quinton de Kock Test career
Quinton de Kock Test career

The Proteas start the second Test at the Wanderers on Monday striving to prevent India from sealing a first Test series win in South Africa.

Elgar expects a response from his side after India beat them at Centurion for the first time in the longest format.

"I don't think I can say the words that I've been saying recently, but we've had hard chats I have had a lot of talks with the guys, even if it's in a personal capacity," he said.

"I take the guys aside and just chat, give them a little bit of affirmation to put him in a better mind space."

He added: "Players have to take responsibility. You can talk and talk until there's action. I said to the guys: ''I need to see actions'.

"Test cricket is a hard and ruthless environment and if you want to survive and be successful in this format you need to ask yourself the hard questions and respond to those questions.

"That's the culture I was brought up with and I want the other guys to think about it. They're not bad players. They haven't become any weaker.

"They just need to be mentally a bit more switched on and understand Test cricket is bloody tough and you're facing some of the best bowlers in the world now. You need to put on your big boy pants and react to what's happened."

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