"The interests of the team must always outweigh the interests of any individual, including me”, says AB de Villiers, who steps down as a test captain of the South African cricket team, raises a pragmatic gesture by putting the nation first before him. AB who holds the record of 21 centuries and 36 fifties in test format, resigned as a captain, opened the way for childhood friend Faf du Plessis to lead the team in home series against Sri Lanka. Faf du Plessis has been named as third permanent captain after a decade serving-captain Graeme Smith.
After the departure of Graeme Smith from South African test cricket, no one was set to become captain. A vice-captain under Smith captaincy could learn much from the tactical nous but Smith didn’t need any, he survived alone. AB de Villiers had never led any team in any format, at any level unlike Faf du Plessis, who had that captain confidence with leading abilities. AB was doing great with his batting and wicket-keeping since he was over-burdened with the captain’s responsibilities.
Right-handed wicket keeper batsmen, Ab de Villiers who is known for his smart cricket and versatile performance in every game, appointed captain in January after Hashim Amla resigned. It was anticipated that AB would join the team in Sri Lanka’s series but his persistent elbow injury has not fully fitted after an operation earlier in October. He is temporarily out from cricket since Caribbean Premier League held in July. In 2016, he led the team in just two tests against England where he won one and lost one. He missed his following series after England against New Zealand due to his elbow injury and this made Faf to successfully captain the team in New Zealand and Australia. Faf du Plessis has impressed with his leading skills as stand-in skipper in his back to back victorious series and marked 1-0 win against New Zealand and a 2-1 win over Australia. 
 “It was a fantastic honor for me to be asked to captain the Test side but I have missed two series and I am still in doubt for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.”
"I have known Faf for almost 20 years, ever since we played in the same school side at Afrikaans Hoer Seunskool, and he will have my unequivocal support if he is asked to continue leading this exciting Proteas Test team,"
AB expressed his views in his press conference on Monday,
Faf du Plessis has seen to be a very competent test captain and he can even do better in coming matches but he has been alleged with the charge of ball-tempering two times. An ICC board started an investigation after finding him guilty. The footage appeared from the second Test in Hobart that displayed him coating saliva to the ball with a mint in his mouth and earlier against Pakistan in 2013. This makes his position bit responsible for the previous events. But, as we have seen, Faf is a tough man with an in-form batting average, this will surely help South Africa to dominate Sri Lanka.
Relinquishing captaincy is obviously a huge by AB. He was made captain by chance as South Africa didn’t have any other player for skipping when Amla resigned. That moment AB’s foremost priority was not to test cricket and captaincy. This is so sensible that he himself made the call; by this way, the team will stay united. Any verdict made by the Cricket board or selection board could have unfavorably affected the players’ performance. Given how much AB esteemed the captaincy it is a brave and truly selfless decision, also the right one for the Proteas. 
AB has possibly seen that team has progressed under du Plessis command and providing them the same favorable squad and leader would be better for the winning consistency. The fact is that none has owned their love for South Africa than AB and in backing up du Plessis, he proved that if you truly love something, you can easily let it go.


Nazish Islam - a media graduate with an undying love for chai, books, traveling, series shows, sports, hijab, and of course writing.

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"The interests of the team must always outweigh the interests of any individual, including me”, says AB de Villiers, who steps down as a test captain of the South African cricket team, rais...