• Vilas inspired by Smith, Kemp captaincy

    Dane Vilas will draw on lessons he learned from highly regarded captains such as Graeme Smith, Justin Kemp and Neil McKenzie when he leads the South Africa A side on a tour to India in July and August.

    Vilas was recently appointed as captain of the SA A four-day squad for the tour which will include two four-day unofficial Tests.

    He says he has learned a lot from watching captains like Smith and Kemp over the last 10 years at the Cape Cobras. Kemp is still a member of the contracted list of Cobras players for 2015/2016, while Smith retired from cricket last year.

    Vilas says he often speaks to the 37-year old Kemp, a former South African all-rounder, about reading and understanding the flow of the game.

    ‘Another player who shaped my thinking about captaincy was Neil McKenzie, who had the ability to think in an unorthodox fashion, yet make smart moves that was beneficial to the team,’ said Vilas.

    The 30-year old wicketkeeper-batsman has led the Cobras when Justin Ontong was absent through other commitments, but has also learned to put on his so-called thinking cap as he is the leader of the fielders in the team, and liaise with the bowlers regularly in his role as wicketkeeper.

    ‘I don’t consider myself a charismatic leader who inspires others through great speeches, but I do like to get the best out of the team, and make apt choices, while also supporting the team in having fun.

    ‘The SA A team going to India is a very good side of young players. I expect us to challenge India on their home turf  when we go there.’