De Villiers is the right guy,says Amla

2011-06-14 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South African cricket is in safe hands with AB de Villiers heading up the one-day and Twenty20 teams.

That is the view of Hashim Amla, a team-mate of De Villiers and until this past week his biggest opponent for the post.

De Villiers (27) was last Monday appointed as Graeme Smith’s successor for the abbreviated versions of the game.

Smith gave up the Twenty20 reins at the end of last year and stepped down as one-day captain following the Proteas’ disastrous Cricket World Cup campaign on the sub-continent.

Amla will be De Villiers’s deputy, with the latter also having been appointed Smith’s deputy for the Test team.

“The media have been speculating a lot about who the next captain would be after Graeme’s announcement that he would hand over the reins, and my name was the one mentioned,” said Amla.

“Of course, it made me think about it and whether I wanted the responsibility, but I’m satisfied with rather being the vice-captain.”

Amla believes the position fits him like a glove.

“I like to stay out of the limelight as much as possible and that is why the vice-captaincy suits me better. It’s not true that I was asked to be captain and turned it down.

“I did give up the captaincy of the Dolphins some time ago to concentrate on my batting. That is also my plan with the national team.”

Amla believes De Villiers is the better candidate.

“I don’t believe I would have been the right guy because it’s an enormous responsibility. AB is an excellent choice as captain of the teams and I know he will make a big success of it.”

Amla, who this past year distinguished himself as one of the leading one-day batsmen in the world, is still not sure of a place in the Proteas’ Twenty20 team.

“It’s my next goal to get as much game time as possible in the shortest version of the game and to show that I can compete with anybody at that level.”

De Villiers said that he and Amla will work together closely with an eye on the next World Cup in 2015.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity, though I don’t really have much experience as captain,” said De Villiers.

“With the new coaches and Graeme and Hashim by my side, I will get used to it quickly.”

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