AB de Villiers, who took charge of South Africa Test team in January this year and led the team in only two Tests, has stepped down from the captaincy with immediate effect. The 32-year-old has been out of action with an elbow injury for quite some time now, having last played a game for his team during the Tri-Series in the West Indies in June this year.
And after missing the Test series against New Zealand and Australia, he has now been ruled out of the three Tests against Sri Lanka, starting December 26. In his absence, Faf du Plessis successfully led the side to series wins against New Zealand at home and away in Australia and de Villiers has backed him to take the post on permanent basis.
Speaking about his sudden decision, he said:“The interests of the team must always outweigh the interests of any individual, including me.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.”
“I have known Faf for almost 20 years, ever since we played in the same school side at Afrikaans Hoer Seunskool, and he will have my unequivocal support if he is asked to continue leading this exciting Proteas Test team,” he added.
South Africa team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee has said the right-handed batsman will return to action in the ODI series against Sri Lanka which starts on January 28.
“AB’s left elbow is much improved but is still regaining the last few degrees of straightening. Fitness to play requires a full range of elbow movement and this may take another 3-4 weeks t to achieve.He will be unavailable for the Test series against Sri Lanka and will target a return for the Momentum ODI series starting at the end of January,” Moosajee said.