Cape Town - Former Proteas spinner Paul Harris believes that the South African cricket public should give ODI skipper AB de Villiers a break.
De Villiers has come under fire after the Proteas were eliminated in the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy while he also led the side to 2-1 series defeats in both a T20I and ODI series against England.
That, combined with the fact that he will be unavailable for the upcoming four-match Test series against England, has not gone down well.
De Villiers is due to meet with Cricket South Africa (CSA) in August to discuss his future in all formats, with a retirement from Test cricket reportedly on the cards.
De Villiers' captaincy of the ODI team has also come under increased scrutiny, with many believing that Faf du Plessis should take the reins in all formats.
Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith, meanwhile, wrote a column in the The Independent in which he advised De Villiers to step down from the ODI captaincy.
The 2019 World Cup remains De Villiers' priority, and every decision he is taking on the international stage is aimed towards ensuring that he will be fit and firing for that tournament.
And while his 'pick and choose' approach is causing a stir, Harris believes that De Villiers has earned the right to make such calls.
A team-mate of De Villiers at both the Titans and Proteas, Harris took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
I know the Proteas were not great at the CT but jeepers some of the personal abuse aimed at @ABdeVilliers17 is a joke. Keep it clean please!— paul harris (@paulharris12) June 14, 2017