‘I am certainly ready to take over the Test captaincy’, says AB de Villiers

"It will be a great challenge to be a captain"

“It will be a great challenge to be a captain”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers has announced that he is ready and would be honoured to become the country’s Test captain following Graeme Smith’s retirement in March.

However, de Villiers noted that if he were to become captain, he would prefer to give up the keeping gloves.

“Preferably I wouldn’t like to do the keeping job if I am captain,” de Villiers toldĀ ESPNcricinfo. “It will be very difficult to juggle all of that together. But if I have to do all of it… I have never shied away from a challenge. It will be a great challenge to be a captain and to do whatever they want me to do.”

If de Villiers were to give up the keeping gloves, either Thami Tsolekile or Quinton de Kock would take over.

Even though de Villiers never captained at the school, club or first-class level, he was appointed as ODI and Twenty20 captain after Smith stepped down from the role following the 2011 World Cup.

After enduring a difficult time as captain of the ODI and Twenty20 squads, de Villiers decided to hand the Twenty20 captaincy to his school friend Faf du Plessis in 2013.

“I have led in the shorter version – it’s been a great ride and I have learnt so much,” de Villiers said. “I am certainly ready to take over the Test captaincy.

“I would love to do it. It’s up to the people above me to decide who will be the best guy to do the job. Whoever gets it, I hope he will have full support from the team, from the staff and from the administrators. He will have my support if it’s not me but if it is me I will give it my best shot and hope to do a good job.”

Meanwhile, de Villiers preferred not to dwell on the fact that South Africa had lost two major veterans in Smith and all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who announced his retirement from Test cricket in December 2013.

“I see opportunity that comes with that,” de Villiers said. “We’ve lost some big names but some new players will get the opportunity to become heroes in the country.

“It’s important for senior guys like myself, Hashim (Amla), Dale (Steyn), JP [Duminy] to move forward and to take that culture that Graeme and Jacques and Mark (Boucher) left behind. We have to show them the way. I am looking forward to the challenge of taking the team forward.”

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