Rudolph backing 'fiery' de Villiers to inspire Proteas


Jacques Rudolph thinks the appointment of a "fiery" AB de Villiers as captain for the remainder of the Test series against England has given South Africa every chance of staging a fightback.

De Villiers stepped in as skipper after Hashim Amla announced that he was standing down following the drawn second Test against Alastair Cook's side at Newlands last week.

The Proteas are 1-0 down in the four-match series after losing the first Test at Kingsmead, a defeat which came on the back of a 3-0 hammering in India.

Former South Africa batsman Rudolph believes Amla, who returned to form with a double century in Cape Town, can thrive without the burden of leading the side and backed De Villiers to be an able replacement.  

"I think from a personal point of view for Hashim, it allows him the opportunity to just focus on his batting," said Rudolph.

"Knowing Hashim for quite a while, he's quite an introverted guy and he likes to do his own thing. I think with media and politics playing its role it will be a lot easier for him going into the next few Test matches.

"AB has been a stalwart for us over the last couple of years. He's a very strong character, he's got a fiery kind of personality, he's very competitive and I think that is what South Africa is going to need in the next two Test matches."

South Africa suffered a blow on Monday when premier paceman Dale Steyn was ruled out of the third Test in Johannesburg, which starts on Thursday, due to a shoulder injury which also kept him out of the draw in Cape Town.