AB de Villiers has stepped down as South Africa's Test captain with immediate effect and has been ruled out of the three Tests against Sri Lanka as he continues to recover from elbow surgery. De Villiers endorsed his stand-in, Faf du Plessis, to take over permanently.

"The interests of the team must always outweigh the interests of any individual, including me," de Villiers said. "It was a fantastic honour for me to be asked to captain the Test side but I have missed two series and I am still in doubt for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. Following the squad's outstanding performances in Australia, it is clearly in the greater interests of the team that Faf du Plessis should be confirmed as the permanent Test captain."

De Villiers has been out of action since the Caribbean Premier League in July and was expected to be fit for the Sri Lanka Tests but still needs another three to four weeks before being declared fully fit. He will target the ODIs later in January, a format in which he remains captain, for a comeback.

More to follow...