• Amla keen to keep captaincy

    Hashim Amla says he has no plans to give up the Test captaincy despite his lack of runs and another heavy defeat for South Africa.

    The Proteas lost the first Test against England in Durban by 241 runs and are on the verge of a crisis after also losing 3-0 in India.

    Quinton de Kock and Chris Morris have been called up to the Test squad for the New Years Test at Newlands.

    A squad was announced for the first two Tests against England earlier this month, but events in Durban have forced a rethink.

    De Kock finally gets recalled after spending most of the year out of favour and amid renewed concerns about AB de Villiers’ workload in all formats of the game.

    Morris comes in as cover for Dale Steyn, who struggled with a stiff shoulder after coming into the side after weeks on the sideline with a groin injury. He will undergo a fitness Test on Friday, but coach Russell Domingo and captain Hashim Amla have already said it’s unlikely he will feature in Cape Town.

    Kagiso Rabada is the obvious replacement for Steyn if he doesn’t play.

    It’s a big blow for South Africa who are currently in disarray following another heavy Test defeat. They are low on confidence and the selectors face a selection crisis ahead of the Newlands Test after most of the batsmen continued to struggle for runs at Kingsmead.

    ‘Chris Morris has good four-day figures,’ Domingo said. ‘He played in the South Africa A game against England and because there is uncertainty regarding Dale Steyn’s fitness for the second Test we feel that Morris is the guy that can do the job. AB de Villiers’s workload is something that is always being discussed and something I will discuss with the selectors once again. We will have to look at all the factors before we decide who will keep wicket in Cape Town.’

    There is still no room for a specialist opener like Stephen Cook, who continues to be overlooked despite scoring runs consistently over the last few years at domestic level.

    That means Stiaan van Zyl will likely continue in the role alongside Dean Elgar, The only other option in the squad is Rilee Rossouw who is also a No 3 batsman and it would be unfair on him to open the batting.

    Meanwhile Amla has confirmed his desire to continue with the captaincy despite coming under increased pressure from the public to relinquish the role.

    ‘I definitely do,’ he said when asked if he wanted to continue with the captaincy. ‘I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it’s just been disappointing not to get the runs. In the middle of a Test series like this the hunger to get runs on the board is getting more.

    ‘I have been disappointed not to get the runs that I’ve wanted to. It started off well last year when I got some runs but not being able to maintain it has been disappointing. Certainly as captain you want to lead from the front. Hopefully I can turn it around in the next match, start leading from the front by getting the runs on the board so that the boys can follow.

    ‘It’s been disappointing for everybody,’ he said. ‘I certainly think it’s a confidence thing and we don’t know how long it will go on for but we hope that we are close to turning it around. Dean [Elgar] started it off brilliantly, his hundred has been the positive light from this Test match for us. He batted well in India and the way he batted in this game is a good lesson for everyone.’

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