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Why ‘superman’ AB de Villiers’ Test future is uncertain

AB de Villiers has not played Tests for the last one year and he missed the series against New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka with an elbow injury that required surgery.

cricket Updated: Jan 16, 2017 19:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
AB de Villiers,South Africa national cricket team,Faf du Plessis
AB de Villiers has not played Tests since January 2016 and he faces an uncertain future in the longest format due to injuries.(Getty Images)

AB de Villiers’ future in Tests seems to have taken a jolt with captain Faf du Plessis and coach Russell Domingo suggesting they’re unsure about the veteran’s comeback.

De Villiers, who has been sidelined with an elbow injury for the last six months, played his last Test in the 2015/16 series against England. He averaged only 30 and got out for a hat-trick of ducks. Following the series, had to undergo an elbow injury that kept him out of the team for quite some time.

Following the series in which South Africa lost 1-2, de Villiers admitted that playing too much cricket in all three formats played a big role in him getting sidelined. Before the start of the Sri Lanka series, de Villiers stepped down as captain of the Tests, handing over the reigns to du Plessis, who led the team to series wins over New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka.

According to a report on ESPNCricinfo, Domingo said: “We need to sit down with him and plan his future. AB has got to make that decision, I can’t decide on whether he plays or not. When I say that, I mean AB has got to make the decision about whether he is available and the selectors have got to make the decision whether he plays. He has obviously got to make some decision about his future in cricket.”

Earlier, du Plessis too, had hinted that de Villiers might not be too keen to continue playing Tests.

“I’m not sure how AB will feel in terms of Test cricket so we will have to see,” du Plessis said. “We are excited to have him back in the one-day team. I am hoping he decides to play [Tests] for us. He is obviously a world-class batter and I, as a captain, would love to have him as a leader in our team, and obviously as a batter. He is a fantastic player.”

The report further states that though du Plessis didn’t have a word with de Villiers over the latter’s retirement from the format, the six-month break may have prompted him to ponder over the same. “He hasn’t played for a while. The plan was for him to play in this series and then the one-dayers start, but now we will see what AB’s plans are - whether he wants to play,” du Plessis said.

Du Plessis further added that till the time de Villiers was fit and a part of the squad, coach Domingo would ensure someone else would have to make way for the veteran. However, that situation seems to have changed for de Villiers who has 106 Test caps to his name.

He is however expected to stick around for the limited-overs format and assume captaincy ahead of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. He’s still a hot target for a number of T20 teams across the world and should he finally retire from Tests to focus on limited-overs cricket.

First Published: Jan 16, 2017 18:27 IST