South Africa news May 15, 2014

De Villiers 'ready' for Test captaincy

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De Villiers: Chance to build on Kallis and Smith's legacy

AB de Villiers has declared himself "ready" to take over as South Africa's Test captain but admitted he would prefer to give up the wicket-keeping gloves if entrusted with the role. Having already captained in both the Twenty20 and ODI formats, neither of which he is currently behind the stumps for, de Villiers has realised the dangers of being overburdened and wants to avoid the same at Test level unless absolutely necessary.

"Preferably I wouldn't like to do the keeping job if I am captain," de Villiers said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo. "It will be very difficult to juggle all of that together. But if I have to do all of it... I have never shied away from a challenge. It will be a great challenge to be a captain and to do whatever they want me to do."

De Villiers is considered the front-runner for the job Graeme Smith vacated in March this year after more than a decade in charge of the national team. If de Villiers is given the job but asked to hand over the gloves, one of Thami Tsolekile or Quinton de Kock will take over behind the stumps. Tsolekile lost his national contract in February but is still considered the official reserve while de Kock, who keeps in ODIs and T20s and has played one Test, is thought of as a long-term successor much like de Villiers was earmarked as Smith's heir.

Although de Villiers had never captained at school, club or franchise level, he was handed the limited-overs captaincy in 2011, when Smith stepped down after the World Cup, and also the Test vice-captaincy. Despite a difficult start in the leadership position, which saw South Africa exit the 2013 Champions Trophy in the semi-finals and lose an ODI series in Sri Lanka 4-1, and handing over the T20 reins to his school friend Faf du Plessis, de Villiers has grown into the role. South Africa have won two of their last three ODI series and de Villiers regards himself as an improved tactician.

"I have led in the shorter version - it's been a great ride and I have learnt so much. I am certainly ready to take over the Test captaincy," de Villiers said. "I would love to do it. It's up to the people above me to decide who will be the best guy to do the job. Whoever gets it, I hope he will have full support from the team, from the staff and from the administrators. He will have my support if it's not me but if it is me I will give it my best shot and hope to do a good job."

The other main contender for the role is du Plessis, who has shown an aptitude for leadership although he does not have de Villiers' experience. JP Duminy is considered an outside chance given his status as a relatively senior player across all three formats.

The process for appointing the new captain will begin with South Africa's selectors recommending a candidate for the post after consulting, among others, head coach Russell Domingo. Cricket South Africa's board will then have to ratify that choice, which is expected to happen at its meeting on June 3.

The new captain's first assignment will be to lead the team on a two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in July before a one-off Test against Zimbabwe in August. Should South Africa achieve satisfactory results in those three matches, they will leapfrog Australia, who do not play Test cricket until October, to reclaim the top Test ranking.

While that may sound relatively uncomplicated, South Africa will have to do without the services of Smith and Jacques Kallis, who retired from Tests in December, leaving the side without the experience of a combined 283 Test caps. While the dearth of seasoned players is a concern for some in South Africa, de Villiers did not went to dwell on it too much.

"I see opportunity that comes with that. We've lost some big names but some new players will get the opportunity to become heroes in the country," he said. "It's important for senior guys like myself, Hashim (Amla), Dale (Steyn), JP to move forward and to take that culture that Graeme and Jacques and Mark (Boucher) left behind. We have to show them the way. I am looking forward to the challenge of taking the team forward."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY rashivkd on | May 17, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    @cricanm, That is simply because of he is doing only one job, captaining the side, in tests. Do you think MSD deserve a place as a batsman only in the test team? Never for me. But ABD will be in any team purely as a batsman. That is the difference. But, I admits, MSD is a great captain, a great thinker and more than that, he knows his limitations than anyone else. And he knows how to counter it. You can see a number of guys with the talent of MSD, but only MSD can be as successful as he is now, because he is a great thinker.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    @greatest game - I picked de kock purely for his batting because personally I feel he is the best opener SA has right now. And when u already have 6 batsman I would personally go for the best keeper as currently dekock's keeping is quite sloppy. So currently I was thinking have de kock as a batsman right now and wait for his keeping to improve at first class level. And AB is fantastic in the field so by picking the best keeper we will have his services on the field as well.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    @ dilly thinks "Our best option is to make faf captain he has the fight and brain for it."

    Faf has not cemented a spot in the team, & his "fight" is our typical Saffa stubbornness. Like Smith he may struggle to overcome it. In contrast, when AB first captained he was a bit of a breeker. The Rock Star crashed & burned, but learned hard, & valuable lessons.

    I was a big critic of AB's captaincy, but I think he's learned to balance his unorthodox instincts with Saffa conservatism, & now has the creative thinking to SMARTLY go for the kill!

    Enough verkramp leadership. Hansie - rest his soul - had the killer instincts & brains to pull off jailbreaks & heists, & to win. We need some of that back. I think AB has it in him. Hansie was smarter, but AB is catching up.

    AB is the natural choice: a superb batsman in rare form, the most international experience as player & skipper, & showing enough of that Hansie magic that we should not waste so rare an opportunity. If he fails, he's replaced

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    @ Naman Gupta suggests a SA test team of "Quinton Dekock, Peterson ... Thami Tsolekile …"

    de Kock AND Tsolekile? Why? As batsman only, de Kock may be ahead of his optimal curve, but as batsman/keeper he's Gilchrist V2.0, & the best option!

    There's always been just 1 player ahead of Thami. Boucher was talented, but had to work relentlessly to make it, pit bull tenacity his greatest asset. Thami, a prodigious talent, broke records set by Kallis, played International Hockey, Football, & Cricket, & was exceptional at all. He chose cricket, made his 1st class debut at 19, captained SA's U19 WC team, & seemed destined! He waited, was picked, played 3 tests, was dropped, & left cricket for 5 years!

    We'll never truly know if post-apartheid SA victimized & failed him, if mismanagement ruined him, or if Thami's rare talents simply declined, as some do. Each way his story is tragic.

    Sadly, 10 years later, the brutal realities of international cricket seem poised to bypass him ... yet again.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    @ pick_at_the_seam, in the spirit cricket, offered his best wishes, saying "good luck to whoever get the job from us in Australia. I hope they can maintain the awesome intensity that has made our rivalry so entertaining. cricket talent wise AB as miles above his team. good luck mate."

    Thanks for that @ pick_at_the_seam. I like that the rivalry ends with respect - not the petty whinging. Punter's comments at Perth in 2012 showed the biggest heart I've seen from any skipper/ex-skipper/legend.

    AB is in a league of his own right now. With Hash in form they'll be brutal Aussie spankers for a good while ;) We need 5 test series to get full value from Aus/SA tours. The Ashes are nice, but really great cricket is a hell of a lot nicer!

    I'd like a Northern Hemisphere vs Southern Hemisphere Test Cup every few years. Saffas, Aussies, Kiwis & Zims vs 'the rest." Endless possibilities.

  • POSTED BY pick_at_the_seam on | May 16, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    good luck to whoever get the job from us in Australia. I hope they can maintain the awesome intensity that has made our rivalry so entertaining. cricket talent wise AB as miles above his team. good luck mate.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    not sure about captain but future SA team Quinton Dekock, Peterson, Amla, ab devilliers, faf, duminy, Thami Tsolekile, philander, morkel, steyn and merchant de lange. have raw pace in delange, swing in steyn, accuracy in philander and bounce in morkel. All are class bowlers.U have 6 batsman with alma and ab in full flow and rest being promising talents. U also have ur best keeper as well and a deep batting order upto 8 with steyn and morkel also capable.

  • POSTED BY dillyk on | May 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    Our best option is to make faf captain he has the fight and brain for it, AB should just bat at 4 and be the vice captain In SA/Aus/Eng/NZ 1.petersen 2.elgar 3.amla 4.AB 5.faf 6.jp 7.de kock 8.philander 9.steyn 10.morkel 11.hendricks With elgar & jp providing good 5th bowler options.... we have swing left & right in steyn & hendriks, pace & bounce from morkel, and some accurate nibble from vern + we bat all the way to 8

    In WI/Ind/Pak/Srl 1.petersen 2.elgar 3.amla 4.AB 5.faf 6.jp 7.de kock 8.philander 9.steyn 10.morkel 11.tahir 3spinning options for SC tracks

    some good reserves Bats: rossouw, van zyl, bavuma, miller, ingram Seamers depth: viljoen, de lange, parnell, kleinveldt, mclaren, abbott workable spinners: peterson, peidt, von berg, harmer

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @z.majid wat ever position he bats not an issue with current Indian bowling and captaing the side and watching them behind the stumps is a great deal only msd can do that

  • POSTED BY Sunilsewcharan on | May 16, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    There is really no contest between Abd and Msd, stats and record don't lie Abd 19/100 and 35/50, Msd 6/100 and 29/50. So for those that think that Msd is so much greater should have a think again. If you want to go great Wicket keeper/batsman then look at Sanga. So this notion of Msd being the ultimate needs to be readdressed. Being ranked 5th in the test arena speaks for its self. i might b an Sa die hard fan but i have good reason.

  • POSTED BY rashivkd on | May 17, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    @cricanm, That is simply because of he is doing only one job, captaining the side, in tests. Do you think MSD deserve a place as a batsman only in the test team? Never for me. But ABD will be in any team purely as a batsman. That is the difference. But, I admits, MSD is a great captain, a great thinker and more than that, he knows his limitations than anyone else. And he knows how to counter it. You can see a number of guys with the talent of MSD, but only MSD can be as successful as he is now, because he is a great thinker.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    @greatest game - I picked de kock purely for his batting because personally I feel he is the best opener SA has right now. And when u already have 6 batsman I would personally go for the best keeper as currently dekock's keeping is quite sloppy. So currently I was thinking have de kock as a batsman right now and wait for his keeping to improve at first class level. And AB is fantastic in the field so by picking the best keeper we will have his services on the field as well.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    @ dilly thinks "Our best option is to make faf captain he has the fight and brain for it."

    Faf has not cemented a spot in the team, & his "fight" is our typical Saffa stubbornness. Like Smith he may struggle to overcome it. In contrast, when AB first captained he was a bit of a breeker. The Rock Star crashed & burned, but learned hard, & valuable lessons.

    I was a big critic of AB's captaincy, but I think he's learned to balance his unorthodox instincts with Saffa conservatism, & now has the creative thinking to SMARTLY go for the kill!

    Enough verkramp leadership. Hansie - rest his soul - had the killer instincts & brains to pull off jailbreaks & heists, & to win. We need some of that back. I think AB has it in him. Hansie was smarter, but AB is catching up.

    AB is the natural choice: a superb batsman in rare form, the most international experience as player & skipper, & showing enough of that Hansie magic that we should not waste so rare an opportunity. If he fails, he's replaced

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    @ Naman Gupta suggests a SA test team of "Quinton Dekock, Peterson ... Thami Tsolekile …"

    de Kock AND Tsolekile? Why? As batsman only, de Kock may be ahead of his optimal curve, but as batsman/keeper he's Gilchrist V2.0, & the best option!

    There's always been just 1 player ahead of Thami. Boucher was talented, but had to work relentlessly to make it, pit bull tenacity his greatest asset. Thami, a prodigious talent, broke records set by Kallis, played International Hockey, Football, & Cricket, & was exceptional at all. He chose cricket, made his 1st class debut at 19, captained SA's U19 WC team, & seemed destined! He waited, was picked, played 3 tests, was dropped, & left cricket for 5 years!

    We'll never truly know if post-apartheid SA victimized & failed him, if mismanagement ruined him, or if Thami's rare talents simply declined, as some do. Each way his story is tragic.

    Sadly, 10 years later, the brutal realities of international cricket seem poised to bypass him ... yet again.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    @ pick_at_the_seam, in the spirit cricket, offered his best wishes, saying "good luck to whoever get the job from us in Australia. I hope they can maintain the awesome intensity that has made our rivalry so entertaining. cricket talent wise AB as miles above his team. good luck mate."

    Thanks for that @ pick_at_the_seam. I like that the rivalry ends with respect - not the petty whinging. Punter's comments at Perth in 2012 showed the biggest heart I've seen from any skipper/ex-skipper/legend.

    AB is in a league of his own right now. With Hash in form they'll be brutal Aussie spankers for a good while ;) We need 5 test series to get full value from Aus/SA tours. The Ashes are nice, but really great cricket is a hell of a lot nicer!

    I'd like a Northern Hemisphere vs Southern Hemisphere Test Cup every few years. Saffas, Aussies, Kiwis & Zims vs 'the rest." Endless possibilities.

  • POSTED BY pick_at_the_seam on | May 16, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    good luck to whoever get the job from us in Australia. I hope they can maintain the awesome intensity that has made our rivalry so entertaining. cricket talent wise AB as miles above his team. good luck mate.

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    not sure about captain but future SA team Quinton Dekock, Peterson, Amla, ab devilliers, faf, duminy, Thami Tsolekile, philander, morkel, steyn and merchant de lange. have raw pace in delange, swing in steyn, accuracy in philander and bounce in morkel. All are class bowlers.U have 6 batsman with alma and ab in full flow and rest being promising talents. U also have ur best keeper as well and a deep batting order upto 8 with steyn and morkel also capable.

  • POSTED BY dillyk on | May 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    Our best option is to make faf captain he has the fight and brain for it, AB should just bat at 4 and be the vice captain In SA/Aus/Eng/NZ 1.petersen 2.elgar 3.amla 4.AB 5.faf 6.jp 7.de kock 8.philander 9.steyn 10.morkel 11.hendricks With elgar & jp providing good 5th bowler options.... we have swing left & right in steyn & hendriks, pace & bounce from morkel, and some accurate nibble from vern + we bat all the way to 8

    In WI/Ind/Pak/Srl 1.petersen 2.elgar 3.amla 4.AB 5.faf 6.jp 7.de kock 8.philander 9.steyn 10.morkel 11.tahir 3spinning options for SC tracks

    some good reserves Bats: rossouw, van zyl, bavuma, miller, ingram Seamers depth: viljoen, de lange, parnell, kleinveldt, mclaren, abbott workable spinners: peterson, peidt, von berg, harmer

  • POSTED BY on | May 16, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @z.majid wat ever position he bats not an issue with current Indian bowling and captaing the side and watching them behind the stumps is a great deal only msd can do that

  • POSTED BY Sunilsewcharan on | May 16, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    There is really no contest between Abd and Msd, stats and record don't lie Abd 19/100 and 35/50, Msd 6/100 and 29/50. So for those that think that Msd is so much greater should have a think again. If you want to go great Wicket keeper/batsman then look at Sanga. So this notion of Msd being the ultimate needs to be readdressed. Being ranked 5th in the test arena speaks for its self. i might b an Sa die hard fan but i have good reason.

  • POSTED BY cricanm on | May 16, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    Well, guyz look its very difficult to b a wkt kpr batsman alongwith captain, thats what AB said he will not b behind the wkt, and look at Msd, being a captain, he is doing the same job in all format of game i.e. Test Odi T20, yes its true that he hasn't won the matches outside of india, but winning r losing, it comes from a team not only from a captain, but he never said that he will quit any of his job, thats MSD,

  • POSTED BY SICHO on | May 16, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    What has Dhoni got to do with this article? He's not even half the batsman that AB is. There's a difference between a slogger in powerplays with field restrictions and a batsman who can bat anywhere regardless of which format it(and which country he's playing in). If a team was selected and the only spot left is the keeper spot with AB and Dhoni in the sidelines, it wouldn't be a fuss to make guess of who should be selected. Unless you're a stubborn Indian who's not realist and let feelings drive your reasoning. If AB is to be captain, De Kock should keep. But I actually like the idea of Faf being captain. He's just a cool and calm character, then AB can be the VC

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 16, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    @ Prabhakar Muthukrishnan. This conversation is about AB de Villiers as a test captain. Dhoni and ODIs has nothing to do with that. Don't you know the difference between AB and MSD, and between ODIs and tests? I guess you don't, as India don't like playing test cricket - they get beaten if they are not at home!

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | May 16, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Should AB rightly give up the gloves on becoming captain, then it must be de Kock as keeper in all format. Any independent selector would make that choice. That said, would Faf actually be a better skipper...

  • POSTED BY vaidyasunil on | May 16, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    ABD admits that he will have to give up wicket keeping if he wants to be captain...that just shows how great dhoni is....he is captaining indian team, doing wicket keeping and batting well at the same time in ALL formats for about 7 years!!! any other person in the world would have given up/broke down after at the most one year..

    no other player in the world is as fit and strong as dhoni physically and mentally to take in the indian captaincy for so long and successfully in all formats...even csk...and he rarely is injured or takes rest...

    nobody else in the cricket world had/has the mental strength as dhoni to to stand such rigorous schedule...and stay so cool and balanced...

  • POSTED BY SHER-A-PANJAB on | May 16, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    Only and only QUITON D KOCK .....Thami is a good wicket keeper but against fast attack and bouncy wickets Tsolekile is helpless ...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | May 16, 2014, 0:58 GMT

    I would suggeat mr prabhakar to be a bit humble.. MSD is a good player Captain and keeper.. but he is not the best if you see facts with situations... he always had luck to suppport him and the best to best players at his disposal. You can witness the change as he is loosing players his weaknesses are bulging out. Then as a keeper ask him to stand behind the stumps when Steyn , Morkel and Philander the deadliest three are bowling. If you see as a batsman watch AB's test inningses the ones when he batted to save matches and ones to win them with power hits... Dont compare a batsman who comes at end and holds him back on big chases to someone comes and win it for the team... now for the trophy part its not Dhoni alone did it.. It was the team... also check for pedigree in dictionary .Now think on a broadscale coming out of your Dhoni madness..

  • POSTED BY creebo777 on | May 15, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    So one of jp or faf has to go since abdv not gona keep anymore,or will they go without a spinner or all rounder

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | May 15, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    He has done well so far and will do captaincy well also. If his batting is sustained at the high level it is, he will one day be a among the greats of Test cricket with averages over 50.

  • POSTED BY Ms.Cricket on | May 15, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    AB should look to MS for inspiratation. Dhoni captains, bats and keeps 365 days a year, why is AB so fearful?

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 15, 2014, 21:07 GMT

    @ Prabhakar Muthukrishnan says "Duminy for Vice captain???!!! How can you pick someone in a test team based on his T20 results."

    JP WILL be in the test team .He has a better 1st class average - 48.52, than Faf's - 40.30! (Faf's high test average is quickly declining .) JP has a better ODI ave - 39.27 to Faf's 27.55, Their T20I averages are close, but JP's t20 ave is better than Faf! . Faf's List A is 2 runs better than JP.

    JP also bowls, handily.

    What does Faf have over JP? Nothing.. Both played remarkable debut innings, in Australia. Both have hit 3 centuries. JP has played more games, but has taken crucial wickets.

    The VC is not a critical role. JP's leadership skills need to be looked at, particularly with an eye on the short formats.. Faf's captaincy has been underwhelming, as has his T20 play.

    SA have Faf & AB has skippers. That is dangerous. Injury, form slump, illness ... & suddenly SA have NO experienced skippers to take over? That is ridiculous, short sighted, & stupid

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 20:53 GMT

    The write up itself says it all. ABD, having never captained any side of name up until the South Africa ODI side, never seems to be a fitting candidate for captaining the Test side. Notwithstanding his otherworldly batting, particularly on the difficult tracks, he has not been impressive during his stint as skipper in shorter formats. Quite a few of the mistakes he made were glaring and reeked of immaturity that was not expected from a player of his standing. It was particularly evident during the games where SA was defending a target. His bowling changes seemed more of instinctive rather than methodological. Gumption and perspicacity, therefore, felt lacking. Faf on the other hand, exhibits deeper understanding of the game as far as leadership acumen is concerned. Another fact is that of being excessively nice guy which clearly seems to be a case with ABD. One has to be ready to face ire of one or the other while making certain bold decisions. My vote for Faf.

  • POSTED BY UnderdogsGalore on | May 15, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    To all my Indian friends talking up Dhoni, please keep in mind that AB de Villiers can get into any team whichever be the format wherever the match is played solely on the basis of his batting alone(Virat Kohli being the other); he does not need the buffer of wicket-keeping and captaincy to get into teams. Dhoni except for ODIs can't get into Indian test and T20 teams without the protective buffer of captaincy. Yes, Dhoni is an average T20 batsmen too; his international strike rate is 115 (People get a misconception of Dhoni being good T20 batsman due to his IPL exploits,in international T20 he is a mediocre batsman!).

  • POSTED BY android_user on | May 15, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    De kock might take the gloves

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    My Point of view elgar, de kick, amla jp abd,(C) faf dp,(vc) robin peterson philender, dale, morkel, tahir,

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 19:38 GMT

    Guys I think its just fair to give Tsolekile a chance to prove himself. He might actually have it in him. Of course he doesn't have the charm and aura that exhudes from de Kock but he has passion and that should be good enough. Most of all he will have 70% of the nation looking up to him, that should be motivation enough. Whether he has what it takes, who knows. Lets put it to the Test ! [3 series should do the trick]

  • POSTED BY desiboy454 on | May 15, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    The superman of SA ready to take over. For me he is the best in the world right now and then Virat (I am indian). I would prefer he give up gloves since he does have random back spasms and De Kock should be given a good go! My SA test XI: 1. Dean Elgar 2. Alivro Peterson (dont know if there is anyone waiting) 3.Amla 4. ADB 5 & 6. Faf & JP 7. De Kock 8. Philander 9. Steyn 10. Morkel 11. Tahir (give him another go in tests). Maybe at times in need of a 4th seemer, JP can be lead spinner and have someone come in for Tahir. Good team! Greats Sportsman! Best of Luck- from India

  • POSTED BY eggyroe on | May 15, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    In my opinion as an Englishman,I would like to see AB de Villiers bat as a natural No.4.Since Mark Bouchers unforseen exit from the game it appears to me that the South African Selectors have marked time with AB de Villiers taking over behind the stumps. All of a sudden Graham Smith retires,we need a captain,who is the best player in the team,AB de Villiers we will make him captain.The South African Selectors pulled the ultimate rabbit from the hat when they appointed Graham Smith as captain,try it again and let your best batsman concentrate on batting only and reap the benefits.We have seen in the last 20 years Captains who have been wicket keepers,who in my opinion where a complete and utter waste of time when these players should not have even been selected for their respective Countries Test Match IX

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | May 15, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    If he gives up the gloves then Tsolekile will keep wicket. Simple!

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | May 15, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    AB is the best cricketer on planet earth and he is perfect for Captaincy. I think it's great time for SA to give respect to their current greatest player. Look at AB rankings in ICC rankings and see why he deserve that. He can play as a batsman in any cricket team in the world so no worries if he leaves wicket keeping.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    For all those talking about MS Dhoni here, he is a much better wicketkeeper on turning tracks than the likes of Ab de villiers. No one comes close to him when standing up to the stumps. Plus , being the captain of the Indian team brings along with it tremendous pressure. The likes of Ab de villiers would have retired by now had they faced something like that. Plus don't forget he is probably the greatest ODI batsman. No one comes close to him when it comes to pacing an innings in ODIs. His pedigree as the greatest in ODIs is proven. He has won a World Cup final with a scintillating innings. For all their talents, the likes of Abs , Kallis' , Smiths' don't have any ICC trophy to show in their cupboard.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: Duminy for Vice captain???!!! How can you pick someone in a test team based on his T20 results. He cannot play anything that bounces above his knee.

  • POSTED BY grahaam on | May 15, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    You just cannot compare the 2 replacement wicket keepers, one is very good with gloves and bat , whilst the other is just a good provincial cricketer...why do they appear as rivals for the job? ..

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | May 15, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    I feel bad for AB as SL tour will be his first assignment as the newly appointed skipper. It is not a nice thing to start off the reign with a whitewash. Sri Lanka has been and will always be South Africa's Bogey Team.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | May 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    du Please is over rated and something of a 4th innings hero. never really built a proper innings. something of a show pony really. De Villiers obvious captain. Elgar can become a solid opener. De Kick a fine young prospect worth persevering with.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    @Viswanath: Dude! Crickewt isnt abt hitting a six or two in the last over to win and taking the credit. To be frank, Dhoni is still there in team India only because of his (sometimes) Captaincy skills and as there is no one to care of captaincy and Keeper. He aint good at batting. If anyone has to be removed from team India, It has to be Dhoni not for his captaincy but for his poor batting.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    De Villiers is a great player and he is a good candidate for the job. Du Plessis looks like a good leader and his batting in tests has been pretty impressive. Duminy's performance has been quite inconsistent and his place is not yet permanent in the longer version, so I think it's best not to give him the captaincy. SA have a lot to do now after the retirements of the legendary Kallis and the great Smith. They need top quality batsmen at the top of the order. Kallis's role will be hard to fill as he was virtually two players in one.

  • POSTED BY BrianCharlesVivek on | May 15, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    @Viswanath, enough of Dhoni pride. Please compare Dhoni the batsman and ABD the batsman in test matches. I am sure ABD wouldnt fare so poorly as Dhoni even when he captains and keeps wickets.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | May 15, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    i believe AB is the right man for the job. my proposed starting eleven as follows 1. elgar 2. petersen (for now) 3. amla. 4. de villiers 5. du plessis 6. duminy (for now) 7. de kock (to move up at some stage) 8. philander 9. morkel/abbott 10. steyn 11. tahir good balance there with a couple of places up for grabs. the like of stiaan van zyl, riley roussouw, david miller, simon harmer, need to be looked at at some stage. tsolekile doesnt feature.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 15, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    At this point it makes sense for AB to be "tested" as test captain. SA's ODI & T20 teams suffered a horrible slump when he took one in late 2011, but at this point he has probably made every possible mistake, & seems to have learned from them. His recent captaincy has been far more composed and thoughtful than I thought he was capable of. Now that he has tried, and failed ,with the 'off the wall' ideas, his time under Smith should prove valuable.

    Duminy for vice-captain DEFINITELY! I am very interested to see how he performs, & have always though he might/would make a very good skipper. He has the experience, is clearly smart, & composed & cool under pressure. He should have been tried before Faf, but the timing of his 2012 injury kept him out at a crucial period.

    JP's recent & current T20 form cements his place in the team. Nothing like leading from the front. I wish the franchises would give him some leadership time. His IPL team could certainly use it!

  • POSTED BY Lloydster on | May 15, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    Agreed , AB as Captain, Du Plessis as vice with De kok as wicky but not as a opener.

  • POSTED BY Z.Majid on | May 15, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    @vijay baskar MSD bats low in the line-up compared to AB's NO.5

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    Here stands DHONI doing wicket keeping and captaining the side.. Msd deserves a great respect irrespective of his results for his commitment.. Ab should captain and de cock has a good first class average of 47 compared to tsolekile of 29 so, de cock is good at longer version also..

  • POSTED BY Z.Majid on | May 15, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    sa test XI should be: 1.elgar 2.amla 3.du plessis 4.de villiers 5.de kock 6.duminy 7.parnell 8.philander 9.abbot 10.steyn 11.morkel AB should be captain and de kock should behind the stumps

  • POSTED BY mrmonty on | May 15, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    @legsidewide, now now....

  • POSTED BY creebo777 on | May 15, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Interesting times in the protea camp , new openers , new captain , new all rounder ,new spinner ,new wicket keeper ,

  • POSTED BY Kingman75 on | May 15, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    He was only a stand in keeper at best. Made a meal of some simple chances in the last series. A great batsman first and foremost but that's it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    even worlds best batsman feeling the burden of Wicket Keeping while captaining the team... we must give credit to MSD for doing both

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    SOUTH AFRICAN selectors should not be driven away by this declaration by AB DE VILLEARS. He has not shown great signs of leadership skills; whereas FAF DU PLESSIS has shown great grit, confidence and authority during his tenure of captaincy in the shortest format. He has played some match winning innings and has so far proved to be a 4th innings hero. I believe he would be the perfect replacement for BIFF:; even though DE VILLEARS is currently the best batsmen in the world ; but anyway around i feel that DE VILLEARS shoul be removed from WICKET KEEPING duties and DE KOCK should be brought in.

    SO; DU PLESSIS as captain and DE KOCK behind the stumps and AB batting @no.5.. this would be the perfect foil. #pureprotea #proteafire

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    What a news, AB deserves it, we have seen his captaincy, he is very aggressive, Perfect Skipper for SA Tests

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | May 15, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    Good opportunity to put de Kock in

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  • POSTED BY wrenx on | May 15, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    Good opportunity to put de Kock in

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    What a news, AB deserves it, we have seen his captaincy, he is very aggressive, Perfect Skipper for SA Tests

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    SOUTH AFRICAN selectors should not be driven away by this declaration by AB DE VILLEARS. He has not shown great signs of leadership skills; whereas FAF DU PLESSIS has shown great grit, confidence and authority during his tenure of captaincy in the shortest format. He has played some match winning innings and has so far proved to be a 4th innings hero. I believe he would be the perfect replacement for BIFF:; even though DE VILLEARS is currently the best batsmen in the world ; but anyway around i feel that DE VILLEARS shoul be removed from WICKET KEEPING duties and DE KOCK should be brought in.

    SO; DU PLESSIS as captain and DE KOCK behind the stumps and AB batting @no.5.. this would be the perfect foil. #pureprotea #proteafire

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    even worlds best batsman feeling the burden of Wicket Keeping while captaining the team... we must give credit to MSD for doing both

  • POSTED BY Kingman75 on | May 15, 2014, 14:54 GMT

    He was only a stand in keeper at best. Made a meal of some simple chances in the last series. A great batsman first and foremost but that's it.

  • POSTED BY creebo777 on | May 15, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Interesting times in the protea camp , new openers , new captain , new all rounder ,new spinner ,new wicket keeper ,

  • POSTED BY mrmonty on | May 15, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    @legsidewide, now now....

  • POSTED BY Z.Majid on | May 15, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    sa test XI should be: 1.elgar 2.amla 3.du plessis 4.de villiers 5.de kock 6.duminy 7.parnell 8.philander 9.abbot 10.steyn 11.morkel AB should be captain and de kock should behind the stumps

  • POSTED BY on | May 15, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    Here stands DHONI doing wicket keeping and captaining the side.. Msd deserves a great respect irrespective of his results for his commitment.. Ab should captain and de cock has a good first class average of 47 compared to tsolekile of 29 so, de cock is good at longer version also..

  • POSTED BY Z.Majid on | May 15, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    @vijay baskar MSD bats low in the line-up compared to AB's NO.5