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AB de Villiers faces big challenge

AFP
Published : Jan 13, 2016, 5:48 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2016, 5:48 am IST

AB de Villiers faces the biggest challenge of a glittering career when he captains South Africa in the third Test against England, starting at the Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.

AB de Villiers
 AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers faces the biggest challenge of a glittering career when he captains South Africa in the third Test against England, starting at the Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.

Arguably the world’s best batsman — he is ranked third in Tests and first in one-day internationals — de Villiers, 31, made no secret of his ambition to captain the South African Test team following the retirement of Graeme Smith in 2014.

But Cricket South Africa decided to appoint Hashim Amla instead, with De Villiers continuing to lead the one-day side.

Now De Villiers has the job he wanted, following the surprise resignation of Amla after the second Test last week — but only for the remaining two matches of the series.

A long-term appointment will probably not be made for some time, with South Africa not due to play another Test series until they meet New Zealand in August.

De Villiers takes over at a difficult time. Despite fighting back strongly to draw the second Test in Cape Town, South Africa have gone eight Test matches and more than a year without a win.

England lead the series 1-0 and South Africa will lose their number one Test ranking unless they can earn at least a share of the series honours.

Location: South Africa, Gauteng, Johannesburg