Cape Town - Former South African cricket captain Kepler Wessels says Hashim Amla’s decision to quit the Proteas’ Test captaincy should be respected, while he believes AB de Villiers is a more than capable replacement.
Amla on Wednesday quit as Test captain following the drawn second Test against England at Newlands.
De Villiers will now take over as captain for the two remaining Tests in the series.
Wessels wrote a column for SuperSport.com in which he expressed his thoughts regarding the Proteas captaincy.
“The decision Hashim Amla made to resign the captaincy has to be respected. Amla is a key member of the South African batting line up. The runs he scores are of immense importance to the team, particularly now, after the retirement of a number of senior players,” Wessels wrote.
“If he feels that the burden of captaincy is affecting his performance with the bat then he has made the right decision.
“He clearly made up his mind before the Cape Town Test, which lifted the burden of leadership off his shoulders and his renewed vigour at the crease was there for all to see.
“Test captaincy is not for everyone and the fact that Amla doesn't want to continue with this demanding job doesn't make him a lesser player or person. In fact this decision will prolong his career and ensure that he scores heavily for the Proteas in times to come.”
There were talks late last year that De Villiers may start playing fewer Test cricket in future, but being captain should see him change his mind, Wessels believes.
“AB de Villiers, is very comfortable with the added responsibility that captaincy brings. We have seen this in one-day international cricket where his performances with the bat while captain speak for themselves.
“As captain, De Villiers is unlikely to leave the Test arena in the near future, which is a massive plus for the Proteas. There was a real fear after the Durban Test match that he was going to cut down on his international playing future. This is unlikely to be the case now. The captaincy should energise him and give him a renewed vigour.”