Convener of selectors, Linda Zondi, says AB de Villiers will return to the captaincy when he is match fit.
Faf du Plessis has stepped in admirably as captain of the Test and ODI sides and has yet to lose a match in De Villiers’ absence. According to Zondi, however, the Test captaincy is not up for discussion.
‘At the moment it’s clear to us that Faf is stand-in captain and AB is the current captain when he comes back, looking at his fitness and so on,’ Zondi told ESPNCricinfo.com.
It’s not clear at this stage when De Villiers will be match fit and ready to play cricket again, after he underwent elbow surgery in late-September. He was diagnosed as needing eight-to-ten weeks of recovery time which should give him plenty of time to get ready for the Sri Lanka series.
It ends the speculation as to whether he might try and play in next week’s day-night Test. He hasn’t traveled to Australia yet and it’s unlikely that he will, with a warm-up match just a few days away.
‘We will be guided by the medical team in terms of where he is and in terms of match fitness,’ Zondi said. ‘That’s important. He has been away for five months – a long time. For starters, he has to be match fit. We will take it from there.’
Du Plessis then effectively has one more match to make an impression as captain in what has already been a successful stint. The side appear rejuvenated and in good spirits under his leadership, and while Zondi admitted he’s been impressed with the 32-year-old’s stint, Du Plessis merely gives them ‘more options’ going forward.
‘We nominated Faf to be a stand-in captain and he has done a very good job,’ Zondi said. ‘It was an easy process for us when the decision was made because he was already a T20 captain. So it was continuation. We are excited to have him as a leader.
‘It just gives us more options. And we have other guys. Like I said, Hashim Amla, who also brings that experience. We are quite excited about how Faf has shown leadership but we are not going to be carried away.’
The Proteas will prepare for a two-day day-night warm-up match against Victoria in Melbourne this weekend.
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