Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 11:15 PM IST

De Villiers to continue as Proteas captain on return

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 14:32 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Nov.16 (ANI):Clearing the air on South Africa's Test captaincy role, national selection convener Linda Zondi has confirmed that AB de Villiers, who is currently sidelined with an elbow injury‚ will continue to remain the skipper of the team despite stunning success under stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis.

Du Plessis was named as the skipper for the lone ODI match against Ireland and then for the Australian series in de Villiers' absence, who is still recovering from the left elbow injury he sustained in August.

Although the board and not the selection panel appoint the captain, Zondi insisted that Du Plessis have to hand over the job back to the regular captain once he is match fit.

"At the moment it's clear to us that Faf is stand-in captain and AB is the current captain when he comes back, looking at his fitness and so on," Zondi was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo ahead of the third and final Test against Australia, beginning on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval.

Zondi did not say that de Villiers need to play some domestic cricket, but has indicated that panel would like to see him spend time on the cricket field.

"We will be guided by the medical team in terms of where he is and in terms of match fitness. That's important. He has been away for five months - a long time. For starters, he has to be match fit. We will take it from there," Zondi said.

Du Plessis guided the limited-overs side to a first-ever 5-0 whitewash against the Steve Smith-led side and a third successive Test series win in Australia. And Zondi admitted that the Proteas selectors are highly impressed with the way the 32-year old had progressed.

"We nominated Faf to be a stand-in captain and he has done a very good job. It was an easy process for us when the decision was made because he was already a T20 captain. So it was continuation. We are excited to have him as a leader," he said.

De Villiers is currently racing the clock to be fit for the first Test of South Africa's home series against Sri Lanka which starts at the St George's Park on December 26. (ANI)