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February 20, 2013
Features : De Villiers' T20 juggling act continues
News : Du Plessis captain for T20s; Tahir left out of Tests
Players/Officials: Faf du Plessis
Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of South Africa
Teams: South Africa
Faf du Plessis, the South Africa batsman, has been appointed full-time Twenty20 captain, beginning with the matches against Pakistan, after AB de Villiers requested to stand down from the role. The development means South Africa will have a different captain for each format, with Graeme Smith leading the Test side, de Villiers the ODI team and du Plessis the T20 side.
Jacques Kallis was once again rested from the limited-overs squads to play Pakistan - he had missed the games against New Zealand too - as South Africa seek to manage his workload. Cricket South Africa (CSA) said Hashim Amla had asked for a break from T20 cricket this year to focus on the other two formats and so was left out of the squad, as was Dale Steyn, who was also rested.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel, who will miss the third Test in Centurion because of a hamstring injury sustained at Newlands, was named in the ODI squad but will be replaced by the uncapped Kyle Abbott for the T20 matches. Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who is missing the Tests against Pakistan because of an ankle injury, was also named in both limited-overs squads.
Henry Davids, Aaron Phangiso, Chris Morris and Quinton de Kock, who made their T20 debuts against New Zealand, were retained in the squad, but wicketkeeper de Kock lost his ODI spot to David Miller. De Villiers will keep wicket in the ODIs.
"AB has expressed that sometimes he feels that he is not sure about T20 cricket so we have decided to give Faf the leadership," South Africa coach Gary Kirsten said. "The decision to make AB keep again is because we feel that is our strongest combination. Quinton de Kock will learn from the chances he had and he will be back at some point.
Du Plessis had filled in for de Villiers as captain during the T20 series against New Zealand at home as well, after de Villiers cited the need for rest because of his workload, which includes wicketkeeping.
"Handing Faf the T20 captaincy is an exciting option for us to explore our leadership resources," Kirsten said. "He showed a lot of potential during the series against New Zealand in both the T20 and ODI formats, and this will be another great opportunity for him to work on his role as a leader.
"Having three captains also allows us to spread the resources among our three formats, with Graeme (Smith) and AB also providing the ideal support in the Test and ODI formats. This is an important year for our limited-overs squads and this new direction is an exciting step forward."
The Champions Trophy during the summer in England is the next major ODI tournament and Kirsten said South Africa had a settled team for that campaign. "The balancing has been tried to rest players to explore a couple of new guys. We've got a strong team [for the Pakistan series]," Kirsten said. "It's only Jacques Kallis who does not get considered and JP [Duminy] who is injured. I am negotiating with Kallis around involvement in the Champions Trophy and he has expressed interest in it. We would look to play him in a major trophy."
ODI squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Twenty20 squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Chris Morris, Justin Ontong, Robbie Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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