Steyn backs de Villiers to return as Proteas captain once fit

Johannesburg [South Africa], Dec.9 : South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn has backed AB de Villiers, who is currently recovering from an elbow injury' to remain as permanent Test captain despite stunning success under stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis.

While speaking at an exhibition match between the South African cricket and rugby teams at Newlands, Steyn insisted that de Villiers had worked really hard to earn the captaincy and, therefore, he wanted to see him back in the role once fit.

"I think so, he is the captain. He is definitely the captain. I know Faf has done really well for us right now, but AB is the captain. He has earned that spot. He has played for a long time, and he said he wants to do it and he got the opportunity to. Unfortunately, he got injured, but he is the man at the end of the day," ESPNcricinfo quoted Steyn, as saying.

Du Plessis was named as the skipper for the lone ODI match against Ireland and then for the Australian series in de Villiers' absence, who is still recovering from the left elbow injury he sustained in August.

Du Plessis guided the limited-overs side to a first-ever 5-0 whitewash against the Steve Smith-led side and a third successive Test series win in Australia.

Steyn, who was earlier sidelined for the rest of this season due to a broken shoulder, insisted, "When AB steps back into the side, there should be almost no question about it.

I know there have been eyebrows raised because Faf has done well, but there should never be any question about who the real captain is or who the captain is, and he should just step back into it and continue what Faf has already started." Last month, national selection convener Linda Zondi had also backed de Villiers to continue as skipper, saying that Du Plessis have to hand over the job back to the regular captain once he is match fit.

"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 had then said.

De Villiers, who took over Test captaincy in February after having taken the role temporarily when Hashim Amla stood down from the post midway during the home series against England, is currently racing the clock to be fit for the first Test of South Africa's home series against Sri Lanka which starts at the St George's Park on December 26.

Source: ANI