Cape Town – Touring England cricketer Chris Woakes says AB de Villiers seemed more like the captain of South Africa than then-incumbent Hashim Amla did during the first Test in Durban recently.
UK newspapers including the Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk) and Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk) quoted Woakes, the bowling all-rounder who was replaced in the second Test at Newlands by fit-again James Anderson, at the weekend as speaking at a function organised by team sponsor Waitrose, the English supermarket chain.
Woakes reportedly said of the Kingsmead match, where England took a 1-0 lead they still command in the four-Test series: “Even when I was on the field and batting in Durban, you could feel that Amla probably wasn’t leading the side as much as a normal captain would.
“It felt like AB (who has since been handed the temporary Test leadership after Amla stepped down in Cape Town – Sport24) was having an input anyway.
“Amla was captain of the side, but I don’t see him as a huge vocal guy like Graeme Smith once was.
“Everyone leads their team in a totally different manner. He was the captain, but you could still feel that AB was having an input on certain things.”
De Villiers was wicketkeeper in Durban, although subsequently relinquished that chore at Newlands, where Quinton de Kock took over, and Woakes added: “Maybe ‘keepers do that from behind the stumps, but the best way of saying it is that it is not a surprise that Amla has stepped down.”
The third Test begins at the Wanderers on Thursday.