Hesson: Proteas will miss ‘important leader’

New Zealand

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson says it's a 'shame' that South Africa will be without skipper AB de Villiers for the next six weeks, thus missing their two Test encounters this month.

De Villiers picked up an elbow injury while playing for Barbados in the CPL recently, and will be replaced as skipper by Faf du Plessis, who is the T20 captain already.

Hesson said on Radio Sport of De Villiers' absence: "That's a shame, obviously a high quality player and an important leader for South Africa, so that's gonna be a loss for them.

"(But) looking at their squad they've certainly got a lot of depth."

As for his own side, Hesson said there would be no playing about with line up for the second Test against Zimbabwe, even thought they lead the series one nil and are unlikely to lose in Bulawayo.

While many could see this as a warm up game for the South Africa Tests, Hesson is not as cavalier: "Test cricket, for us, is something we won't be playing around with.

"We use other formats of the game to maybe introduce other players.

"Test cricket is it's purest form and one that we will make sure we pick our best side for in every test match so we'll certainly look to do that again in the next one."

The Zimbabwe Test starts on Saturday, while the first Test against the Proteas begins on 19 August in Durban.