Johannesburg: Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Ray Jennings has heaped praise on South Africa`s new limited overs captain AB de Villiers for his commitment on the field, saying he has been a "pillar of strength" in the IPL side`s runners-up finishing campaign in the Twenty20 league.
Jennings, also former South Africa national team coach, said that de Villiers deserved to captain South Africa as he has a "sharp cricket brain" and "leads by example".
"AB has a sharp cricket brain. He assesses situations quickly and acts accordingly. I certainly don`t believe that South African cricket made a mistake to appoint him as captain," said Jennings, whose RCB lost to the Chennai Super Kings in the final of the IPL.
"It really was a privilege to have AB in my team. He may not have had the best IPL with the bat, but the role he played in the team was of immense value.”
"He is someone who leads by example. He always pitches for training first and does not hesitate to offer young players advice during the net sessions. He was also a pillar of strength for our captain Daniel Vettori, who relied on him a lot on the field," he was quoted as saying by `Sport24` .
Jennings felt de Villiers` wicketkeeping will not suffer despite he has now added responsibility as a captain and batsman.
"I was also happy with his wicketkeeping and certainly don`t believe that it will suffer now that he has taken over the captaincy of South Africa."
De Viiliers was on Monday named South Africa ODI and Twenty20 captain after Graeme Smith stood down from the role after the national team`s World Cup debacle.