De Villiers: I'm ready for Test captaincy

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South Africa batsman AB de Villiers says he is ready to take over the Test captaincy, and is keen to do it, but will not want to keep wicket if entrusted with the armband.

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers says he is ready to take over the Test captaincy, and is keen to do it, but will not want to keep wicket if entrusted with the armband.

With Graeme Smith's retirement after the Australia series, leaving the Proteas with a search for a new skipper after 13 years, De Villiers and Faf du Plessis are considered the front-runners.

De Villiers is the ODI skipper, while Du Plessis tends to take charge of the T20 side, and it's proven a toss up as to who will get the Test gig. If De Villiers does get it, then Quinton de Kock is his likely replacement behind the stumps.

De Villiers told <i>Cricinfo</i>: "Preferably I wouldn't like to do the keeping job if I am captain. It will be very difficult to juggle all of that together.

"But if I have to do all of it… I have never shied away from a challenge. It will be a great challenge to be a captain and to do whatever they want me to do.

"I have led in the shorter version – it's been a great ride and I have learnt so much. I am certainly ready to take over the Test captaincy. I would love to do it.

"It's up to the people above me to decide who will be the best guy to do the job. Whoever gets it, I hope he will have full support from the team, from the staff and from the administrators.

"He will have my support if it's not me but if it is me I will give it my best shot and hope to do a good job."

The Proteas go into a new Test season missing a number of experienced faces, with Jacques Kallis' retirement adding to Smith's, as well as Mark Boucher's absence still felt at times, two years later.

But the innovative De Villiers added: "I see opportunity that comes with that. We've lost some big names but some new players will get the opportunity to become heroes in the country.

"It's important for senior guys like myself, Hashim (Amla), Dale (Steyn), JP to move forward and to take that culture that Graeme and Jacques and Mark (Boucher) left behind.

"We have to show them the way. I am looking forward to the challenge of taking the team forward."

The Proteas's first Test of the season will be against Sri Lanka in Galle in mid-July.

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