AB De Villiers takes over as SA Test skipper as Hashim Amla quits suddenly

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Hashim Amla with A B De Villiers
Hashim Amla with A B De Villiers

Under fire in recent times for his poor form and following the 3-0 Test series rout in India , South Africa’s Test skipper Hashim Amla suddenly announced a shock decision to resign as South African captain after leading his team to a draw in the second Test at Newlands . “I felt someone else could do a better job,” Amla told journalists. He returned to form in the drawn Test though with a double ton.

“The decision was not made over the last couple of days. It was made at least two weeks ago.” ODI skipper and the team’s batting mainstay AB de Villiers expectedly  will lead South Africa in the remaining two matches of a series which England lead 1-0.

“I had chatted to a few of the guys before this so this did not come as a massive shock to them,” said Amla.
“We have a very tight leadership team — myself, AB, Faf (du Plessis), quite a few of the senior guys. AB is very able and a brilliant captain himself.”

On what had been expected to be a low-key final day after high scoring in the first innings, Amla’s captaincy ended on a high. After scoring 201 in a South African fightback following a battering by a Ben Stokes-inspired England in the first innings of the match, Amla had one of his better days in the field as England lost six second innings wickets by mid-afternoon. Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali negotiated the rest of the afternoon and England were on 159 for six, leading by 161 runs, when play was called off.

Amla had explained in a statement: “After careful consideration and considerable thought, I wish to announce I will be stepping down as captain of the Proteas Test team with immediate effect. “This decision was not an easy one to make but I felt I needed to be true to myself, having done a personal introspection.

“I feel comfortable with my decision, knowing that I have given my best at all times and will continue to do so. However, I feel there is a greater need to work on my own game, thus giving me the opportunity to continue contributing as a batsman.” Amla captained South Africa in 14 Tests, winning four, losing four and drawing six.

Moreover, It is not the first time Amla has left his captaincy mid- way in his career. He quit the captaincy of his former franchise Dolphins in 2005  just after a season in charge. Then he gave up vice- captaincy of the ODI team two years ago.