The decision Hashim Amla made to resign the captaincy has to be respected. Amla is a key member of the South African batting line up. The runs he scores are of immense importance to the team, particularly now, after the retirement of a number of senior players.
If he feels that the burden of captaincy is affecting his performance with the bat then he has made the right decision.
He clearly made up his mind before the Cape Town test, which lifted the burden of leadership off his shoulders and his renewed vigour at the crease was there for all to see.
Test captaincy is not for everyone and the fact that Amla doesn’t want to continue with this demanding job doesn’t make him a lesser player or person. In fact this decision will prolong his career and ensure that he scores heavily for the Proteas in times to come.
His replacement, AB de Villiers, is very comfortable with the added responsibility that captaincy brings. We have seen this in one-day international cricket where his performances with the bat while captain speak for themselves.
As captain, De Villiers is unlikely to leave the test arena in the near future, which is a massive plus for the Proteas. There was a real fear after the Durban test match that he was going to cut down on his international playing future. This is unlikely to be the case now. The captaincy should energise him and give him a renewed vigour.
The team has a week before the next test to adjust to this development, which should be enough seeing that most of them have played under De Villiers and know his captaincy style well.
The Proteas will take confidence from the way they played from day three onwards in the test match in Cape Town.
It was important for Amla to make a strong statement in the second test.
Amla had a poor 2015 by his standards. There was a fear that the pressure of captaincy was affecting his batting.
He also developed a slight flaw in his footwork pertaining to his trigger movement.
Fortunately the surface in Cape Town was a batsman’s paradise. This enabled Amla to spend a Long time at the crease and iron out some of the problems he had with his technique.
The future holds if now Amla can get back to his ways of scoring runs without the weight of captaincy on his shoulders.
The Cornered Tiger