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AB de Villiers’ Test future uncertain, will continue to play IPL

AB de Villiers faces an uncertain Test future after opting out of the series against England to be played in July, but will continue to be Virat Kohli’s team-mate in Indian Premier League.

cricket Updated: Jan 18, 2017 20:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
ab de villiers,virat kohli,royal challengers bangalore
AB de Villiers (left) is not in a hurry to return to playing Test cricket after an elbow surgery, but reuniting with Virat Kohli (right) in IPL 2017 is a priority for the South African cricketing icon.(Hindustan Times)

AB de Villiers is facing an uncertain time in his cricketing career. After opting out of the three-Test series against New Zealand in March, the star South Africa batsman has ruled himself out of the four-Test series against England in July, which follows the Champions Trophy in that country.

Not only the England series, de Villiers has put himself out of reckoning for the two-Test home series against Bangladesh as well. This has only increased the speculation surrounding his Test future. However, in an interview with a South African radio station, de Villiers has ruled out retiring from Tests while stating that he wants to stay fresh for the 2019 World Cup.

“I’m not retiring out of Test cricket. I’m not retiring out of any format, that’s for sure. We haven’t won a World Cup yet. For me, for now the most important thing is the 2019 World Cup. I want to make sure we get there. I want to make sure we lift that trophy. I feel that if I play all formats all the time, then mentally and physically I won’t be at my best,” said the batsman who holds the record for the fastest ODI century --- off just 31 balls against West Indies in 2015.

De Villiers was plagued by a persistent elbow problem that required surgery after the end of the England series in July 2016. The injury ruled him out of the New Zealand Tests at home, the three-match series in Australia and the ongoing three-Test series against Sri Lanka.

However, there is still no clarity on his return. According to some reports, de Villiers is targeting a return to the Test team towards the end of the 2017/18 season. India and Australia are the teams scheduled to tour South Africa, according to the Future Tours Programme.

There is good news for Indian fans though as de Villiers has made himself available for the Indian Premier League but for no other Twenty20 league. De Villiers, who is Virat Kohli’s team-mate at Royal Challengers Bangalore, is one of the key players with Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle in a team that finished runners-up last season.

The dashing right-hander is all set to comeback in the limited-overs format in the three Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka starting on January 20. South Africa will play three T20Is and five ODIs against Sri Lanka ahead of the Champions Trophy that begins in England in June.

First Published: Jan 18, 2017 19:44 IST