South Africa captain Dean Elgar urged his teammates to deal with Quinton de Kock sudden Test retirement like professionals and focus on levelling the series against India. Elgar said he was initially shocked by De Kock's decision to retire at the age of 29 after the last day of the first Test which the they lost by 115 runs.
"I was pretty shocked. But sitting down with Quiney (Quinton de Kock), he explained his reasons and I respect and fully understand his decision," Elgar said at a virtual press conference ahead of the second Test.
"The responsibility for us is to carry and conduct ourselves as international players. We still have to be professional around this. We still have a Test series to level, so I don't think there will be any hangover or shock over Quiney's retirement.
"Players respect the environment. We realize that we had a few setbacks in recent times and we need to obviously have to be clever around it and get over it. I don't see this affecting the players of still being shocked about his retirement."
Elgar opined that De Kock's decision will not put Test cricket in danger.
"I don't think his decision is going to jeopardise Test cricket going forward. His reasons are his reasons and his choice to retire, we as a group fully respect it and we as a group have to get over it and move on now," he said.
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher also expressed his surprise at De Kock's announcement.
"You do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age. It came as a shock. But we fully respect his reasons," Boucher was quoted by the local media.
Despite going wicketless in the first Test at Centurion, Elgar was positive about left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj's chances in the second Test.
"I am a fan of a frontline spin bowler and Keshav put up his hand, he has played domestic game and Test series against Australia. I think he will retain his spot, he didn't have a horrible game. Sometimes, you go for horses for courses, but Keshav adapts to conditions, he is a smart and capable cricketer and his record speaks for himself," he said.
"I feel left-arm spinners bowling to 10 right handed batters in India is something we would like to utilise. From stability point of view, he still has an extremely big role to play in this Test series."
Elgar hoped that his team can adapt to the conditions and do well in the second Test.
"Players have to take responsibility. You can talk and talk until there is action and I did say to the guys that I need to see action now, talk is cheap if you don't have any reaction to those talks," he said.