AB de Villiers has not played any matches since the tri-series at West Indies    Getty Images
AB de Villiers has not played any matches since the tri-series at West Indies Getty Images

Johannesburg: Former South African off-spinner Pat Symcox has backed AB de Villiers decision to step down as Test captain, saying he has made the right call and players like the latter seem more settled when they get the freedom to play their own game and not think about captaincy and stuff. Earlier on Monday, De Villiers stepped down as Proteas Test skipper with immediate effect and was also ruled out of the three Tests against Sri Lanka as he continues to recover from elbow surgery. The swashbuckling batsman has endorsed his stand-in, Faf du Plessis, to take over permanently and the Cricket South Africa (CSA) have confirmed latter s appointment.

Surprised with De Villiers decision, Symcox believes that it was the right call and said that a man of the former s capacity shouldn’t be burdened with captaincy issues. “I think it s a good call from AB,” Sport24 quoted Symcox as saying. “His injured, he missed two series and they need some momentum just to keep things going. Faf has done an outstanding job. What was surprising was the call coming to give up the captaincy yet the convener of selectors just a month ago was talking his captaincy up, he added. The 56-year-old cricketer-turned commentator further drew comparison of De Villiers with Jonty Rhodes, saying he is very much involved in the game, whether he keeps wicket, fielding and batting just like the fielding legend.

ALSO READ: AB de Villiers steps down as South Africa s Test captain; Faf du Plessis to continue as skipper

It’s not always very easy for busy players (like him) to take over the captaincy where Faf has a more measured, controlled personality. And it (the captaincy) suits him better, we’ve seen it now, Symcox, who represented South Africa in 20 Tests and 80 ODIs, said. He (AB) is an astute player of the game, but he just seems more settled when he’s got the freedom to play (his own game), he added. De Villiers was given the helm after veteran batsman Hashim Amla resigned from the post. The 32-year-old led the team in two Test matches against England before suffering an elbow injury, which has ruled him out of cricket since July.

In his absence, stand-in-skipper Du Plessis guided the team to a 1-0 Test series win over New Zealand, a 5-0 ODI thrashing of the Australia at home and then a 2-1 Test series win Down Under.