South Africa's new Test skipper is… Amla!

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After much speculation for the past few months, it was announced by Cricket South Africa on Tuesday that Hashim Amla will be the new Proteas Test captain, beating out AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis for the vacant role.

After much speculation for the past few months, it was announced by Cricket South Africa on Tuesday that Hashim Amla will be the new Proteas Test captain, beating out AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis for the vacant role.

What had been a two horse race between Du Plessis, the T20 skipper, and De Villiers, the ODI leader, was complicated by Amla's inclusion on the list late in the game. He had originally said he wanted to focus only on his batting.

But he arrived at the press conference in Johannesburg in his formal gear, alongside head coach Russell Domingo, CSA boss Haroon Lorgat and chief selector Andrew Hudson, and was unveiled as the permanent replacement for Smith, who had been in the role for a decade.

Lorgat said: "It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Hashim on his appointment. It is a reflection of the excellence and standing of our senior players that there was more than one quality candidate to consider for this most important leadership position.

"Hashim is universally respected, both in South Africa and around the cricketing world, not only for his quality as a player which has seen him ranked among the best batsmen in the world in both Test and ODI cricket, but also for his personal qualities.

"He has shown his steel in playing in the key No. 3 batting position, one which he took over from Jacques Kallis with great success. The manner in which he has adapted his game to suit the different forms of cricket speaks volumes for his skills to react to changing circumstances.

"He has earned particular respect as a role model for his humility and his upholding of the best traditions and spirit of the game. Becoming captain is a natural progression for his outstanding career and we are indeed fortunate to have a leader of his quality.

"Stability has been one of the endearing qualities he has brought to the Proteas and this is important at a time when we have had to replace several key players in Smith, Kallis and Boucher."

Amla commented: "It is an honour and a privilege to be given this responsibility. I would like to pay tribute to the leadership Graeme Smith has provided throughout my international career.

"This is an exciting challenge but one that I take on with positivity with our Test team being in exceptionally good space at the moment with the support of a strong core of senior players.

"I have concentrated on taking my batting to the highest possible level and now I feel I am in a position to make a contribution to South African cricket in a leadership role."

The actual squad included a few new faces, including Cobras players Stiaan van Zyl and Dane Piedt, while Quinton de Kock was also given a place. Not included were Robin Peterson, Ryan McLaren, Rory Kleinveldt and Lonwabo Tsotosbe, though the latter was due to injury.

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