AB de Villiers added called for some patience and time to allow inexperienced players to settle into their roles © Getty Images
AB de Villiers also called for some patience and time to allow inexperienced players to settle into their roles © Getty Images

Johannesburg: South Africa captain AB de Villiers has insisted that he is optimistic about his embattled side’s Test future despite enduring a string of failures in the longer format of the game this summer. The swashbuckling batsman, whose side are currently trailing 0-2 to touring England side in the four-match series, admitted that losing big players had affected South Africa in the ongoing series, pointing to the absence of injured pace spearhead Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander. However, De Villiers asserted that there was enough depth to take the team forward and called for some patience and time to allow inexperienced players to settle into their roles, Sport24 reported. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: South Africa vs England 2015-16, 4th Test at Centurion

Ahead of the inconsequential fourth Test starting on Friday, De Villiers expressed that they would hate to lose 3-0, adding that it was time for them to wake up a little bit and to start playing proper cricket. Earlier, de Villiers, who took over as a stand-in captain following the resignation of Hashim Amla after the Durban Test, had expressed his desire to continue with his additional responsibility beyond the ongoing series against England. South Africa had suffered a seven-wicket defeat in the third Test in Johannesburg to give England a series win and thereby losing the number one Test ranking to India. But, the 31-year-old admitted that he enjoyed leading the side in the last match, adding that he would love to captain his Test side in future. Describing the captaincy job as a ‘big responsibility’, De Villiers had insisted that it was a great opportunity to have some influence on young players.