AB de Villiers has given up the South African Test captaincy to focus on recovery, with Faf du Plessis taking over his position.
Du Plessis led the team to win the series against New Zealand and Australia, while De Villiers sat out due to elbow injury.
De Villiers, who took up the captaincy from Hashim Amla in January, only led the Proteas in two Tests. He was also set to sit out of the Sri Lanka Test.
“The interests of the team must always outweigh the interests of any individual, including me,” the 32-year-old said. “It was a fantastic honour for me to be asked to captain the Test side but I have missed two series and I am still in doubt for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
“Following the squad’s outstanding performances in Australia, it is clearly in the greater interests of the team that Faf du Plessis should be confirmed as the permanent Test captain.”
Mohammed Moosajee, the Proteas team manager suggested that De Villiers may return for the 50-over series.
“AB’s left elbow is much improved but is still regaining the last few degrees of straightening. Fitness to play requires a full range of elbow movement and this may take another three to four weeks to achieve.
“He will be unavailable for the Test series against Sri Lanka and will target a return for the ODI series starting at the end of January.”
Du Plessis was fined by the International Cricket Council for ball-tampering in the second Test against Australia in Hobart in November.