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South Africa appoint Amla as Test captain

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Johannesburg, June 3 :

Cricket South Africa (CSA) Tuesday appointed Hashim Amla as captain of the Test side in place of the retired Graeme Smith and called up newcomers Stiaan van Zyl and Dane Piedt in the squad for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka.

Amla will be the fifth South African captain after Kepler Wessels (1992), Hansie Cronje (1994), Shaun Pollock (2000) and Smith (2003). Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince have also led the Test side but only in a stand-in capacity.

Hashim Amla ( source: the guardian.com)
Hashim Amla
( source: the guardian.com)

“As a captain, you are more a servant than a leader. I will be taking it as my responsibility to give all my heart to this position. I am positive that it won’t affect my batting and I hope it doesn’t. I will try and score as many if not more runs,” said Amla.

Amla said his first target will be to regain the No.1 spot in Test.

“Any Test team wants to be ranked No.1. We’ve had that privilege but having lost it is a fair reflection of how we have played. We haven’t played our best cricket over the last year or so. It is a proud thing to be ranked No.1. Foremost in my mind is to try and get us back there,” he said.

AB de Villiers will be Amla’s deputy in the Test side but roles will be reversed in the ODI squad that would be led by de Villiers.

South African selectors also retained Quinton de Kock and Kyle Abbott, who included in the series against Australia as injury replacements. Leg spinner Imran Tahir was also recalled.

The players, who were dropped from the Test side were Thami Tsolekile, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren and Robin Peterson.

In the ODI side, Beuran Hendricks has been included as a replacement for Lonwabo Tsotsobe who is recovering from surgery.

South Africa will play three ODIs, July 6 (Colombo), July 9 (Pallekele) and July 12 (Hambantota) and it will be followed by two Tests July 16-20 (Galle) and July 24-28 (Colombo).

Test squad: Kyle Abbott (Sunfoil Dolphins), Hashim Amla (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (bizhub Highveld Lions), AB de Villiers (The Unlimited Titans), JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (The Unlimited Titans), Dean Elgar (The Unlimited Titans), Imran Tahir (Sunfoil Dolphins), Morne Morkel (The Unlimited Titans), Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors), Alviro Petersen (bizhub Highveld Lions), Vernon Philander (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dane Piedt (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Stiaan van Zyl (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras).

ODI squad: AB de Villiers (The Unlimited Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (bizhub Highveld Lions), JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (The Unlimited Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Imran Tahir (Sunfoil Dolphins), Jacques Kallis (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Sunfoil Dolphins), David Miller (Sunfoil Dolphins), Morne Morkel (The Unlimited Titans), Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors), Aaron Phangiso (bizhub Highveld Lions), Vernon Philander (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras).