Amla 'more a servant than a leader'

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New Test captain Hashim Amla is determined to draw on the experience of the senior members of South Africa's squad, ahead of next month's two-match series against Sri Lanka in Galle and Colombo.

New Test captain Hashim Amla is determined to draw on the experience of the senior members of South Africa's squad, ahead of next month's two-match series against Sri Lanka in Galle and Colombo.

Amla was named former skipper Graeme Smith's successor on Tuesday. Smith retired from international cricket earlier this year.

The uncapped Dane Piedt and Stiaan van Zyl, meanwhile, have received maiden call-ups. Fast bowler Kyle Abbott has been retained – and all-rounder Robin Peterson excluded.

"When Graeme decided to retire it was a surprise to us because he was still young. It was at that moment that I decided that, with the group of players we have, if the team wanted me, I would step forward as captain," said Amla.

"Hopefully, with all the experience I've gained, not forgetting the senior guys we have because it's always a collective effort, I'll do well. It's difficult to say what kind of captain I'll be.

"I'll certainly be picking people's brains. When you're in a leadership position you're more a servant than a leader. You should serve the people you're responsible for."

The 31-year-old, after Smith, is the country's fifth full-time Test captain since readmission to international cricket in 1991. The veteran Kepler Wessels, the late Hansie Cronje and stalwart all-rounder Shaun Pollock also led the team. Former wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, the experienced Jacques Kallis and batsman Ashwell Prince held the role in temporary capacities.

"The guys who try and copy someone else don't make it generally. The way I try and approach my game is to see what works for me. I don't have any role-models for captain, I'll just try and bring what I can to the table," concluded Amla.

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