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AB de Villiers ruled out of India-South Africa T20 cricket series with knee injury

AB de Villiers, South Africa’s biggest player, has struggled with one injury or other in the current home series against India.

cricket Updated: Feb 18, 2018 22:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
AB De Villiers,India vs SOuth Africa,South Africa vs India
South Africa captain AB de Villiers suffered a blow to the knee while batting ahead of the sixth ODI between India vs South Africa.(Getty Images)

South Africa talisman AB de Villiers is injured again. The batsman was ruled out of the Twenty20 series against India on Sunday ahead of the first game in Johannesburg. (India vs South Africa, 1st T20 -- cricket highlights)

A Cricket South Africa statement said the 34-year-old player is nursing a left knee injury. The biggest draw in the Proteas line-up, de Villiers suffered a blow to the knee before the final One-day International played at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, which the hosts lost to concede the series 1-5.

The South African board said de Villiers has not recovered sufficiently to play in the three-match T20 series. No replacement has been named.

READ | Full cricket score, India vs South Africa, 1st T20

Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: “AB de Villiers will not be able to take part in the T20 series against India due to a left knee injury. He suffered a blow to the knee while batting ahead of the sixth ODI, and although he passed a fitness test on Friday, the injury worsened significantly throughout the match. The CSA medical team has advised he is given a period of rest and rehabilitation to make a full recovery ahead of the four-match (Test) series against Australia starting next month.”

AB de Villiers’ return after a long break was the highlight in the build-up to the Test series and it was his innings that shaped South Africa’s victory in the first game at Cape Town.

However, de Villiers suffered a finger injury in the final Test, which India won at the Wanderers, Johannesburg in the 2-1 series loss. That led to his missing the first three ODIs, robbing the series that many saw as a match-up between de Villiers and his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Virat Kohli.

While Virat Kohli dominated the series, de Villiers, who turned 34 on Saturday, managed only 26, 6 and 30 in the three games he played in. In his first two games, de Villiers fell to Hardik Pandya while the rest of the batsmen fumbled against spin. In the final ODI at Centurion, he fell to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

CSA also appear to be cautious with de Villiers, who made a comeback against India after a long break. He will be vital to their chances against Australia in the four-Test series starting in Durban on March 1.

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First Published: Feb 18, 2018 18:48 IST