New Delhi: South Africa Test captain Hashim Amla claimed that the Proteas are a team in transition after losing famous players like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen in recent past.
Talking to ESPNCricinfo, the 32-year-old said that the current South African team touring Bangladesh is representative of their next generation cricketers.
"I think on this tour you are seeing for the first time the real effects of having lost three big guys - Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Alviro Petersen. Now when you look at our Test team you see a lot of new faces," Amla stated.
Kallis, known as one of the greatest cricketers of all time, retired in December 2013, shortly after the retirement of Graeme Smith. During Smith's reign as South Africa captain, the Proteas ruled Test arena, winning 53 of 108 matches.
Then, Petersen joined the prolific duo, announcing his retirement in January 2015.
Despite the lost of seasoned players, Amla is confident that the top-ranked Test side has inherited "a very well-polished team."
"I have inherited a very well-polished Test team that has been doing well. Last year we managed to put in some good performances, notably Sri Lanka which is a difficult place to play. But we did exceptionally well. I think we exceeded expectations especially after losing Smith and Kallis," he said.
Amla started his captaincy stint with success in Sri Lanka, winning a two-match Test series 1-0.
Currently, South Africa are playing their second Test of the Bangladesh tour at Dhaka (from July 30 to August 3). And the match witnessed wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas making his Test debut.
Besides Vilas, the side also comprises of youngsters Dean Elger, Stiaan van Zyl, Temba Bavuma, and Simon Harmer.
Talking about these young players, the skipper said: "Many people around the world will probably put the TV on and say Simon Harmer, who is that? Dean Elger, he's played a couple of games; Stiaan van Zyl, who's that? Temba Bavuma, who's that? It is a very, very new team and in Test cricket when you have new faces it is actually a big change. It is not as big a change in one-day cricket and T20s.”
"Since we had such a settled Test team over the last 8-9 years, we are now in a bit of a transition phase. The challenge for us is to try and maintain winning performances and nurture these guys so that when we leave, they can keep going," Amla added, focusing on the transition part.