England head coach Trevor Bayliss does not believe Hashim Amla’s resignation will derail South Africa.
Amla relinquished the Proteas captaincy immediately after the drawn second Test in Cape Town, ending an 18-month reign on an eight-match winless streak.
Amla, South Africa’s first non-white skipper, stepped down to focus on his own batting – despite making a double century at Newlands – and will be replaced by AB de Villiers for the next two Tests.
It might be tempting for England, who lead the series 1-0, to see Amla’s return to the ranks as a sign of trouble in the home dressing room but Bayliss does not subscribe to that.
With Amla unencumbered by the strains of leadership and De Villiers keen to make an impression in the top job, South Africa could even come out of the episode stronger.
“I don’t think it’ll have too much of a difference with the South African team,” he said.
“Obviously Amla will still be in the team and he’s in form after scoring 200 runs so that may even free his mind up even more.
“They have an able replacement so there won’t be any problems at all I’d have thought.
“De Villiers is a guy with a lot of experience, has done the job before [in limited-overs cricket] and I just can’t see too much of a problem.”
England left Newlands relatively content with a draw, having endured a batting wobble on the final day.
But the game will be remembered mostly for the brilliance of Ben Stokes.
He smashed the second fastest double century of all time, finishing with 258 from 198 deliveries, and Bayliss is happy to foster the 24-year-old’s maverick tendencies.
Stokes was caught on the long leg boundary on day five, a reckless shot given the game situation, but there is no question of his natural exuberance being curbed by the coaching staff.
“I think over a period of time he’ll become more consistent and maybe take lot more right options,” said Bayliss.
“As we saw in the second innings it was probably the right shot...maybe he didn’t have to go after it as hard as there wasn’t anyone fielding around the corner.
“So making the right decisions is an area that he’ll learn going forward, but you don’t want to stifle that sort of ability and he’s going to be one of those players who can win a team a match and at different times he’s going to disappoint as well, as all of those types of players in history have shown.”
South Africa team manager Dr Mohammad Moosajee provided an injury update on his side’s stricken fast bowlers and the news was decidedly mixed.
Moosajee declared Vernon Philander “a no-show for the series” after ankle trouble and said senior paceman Dale Steyn was “pretty much 50-50” for the third Test in Johannesburg having been ruled out in Cape Town with a shoulder strain.
Kyle Abbott has been passed fit but may find that one or both of Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada have overtaken him in the pecking order.