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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers likely to return for South Africa against Zimbabwe

Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers can both feature for South Africa during their Boxing Day match against Zimbabwe, according to coach Ottis Gibson.

cricket Updated: Oct 31, 2017 23:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Dale Steyn (L) and AB De Villiers can both make a comeback for South Africa in December.
Dale Steyn (L) and AB De Villiers can both make a comeback for South Africa in December.(REUTERS)

Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers will be back in action for South Africa as coach Ottis Gibson has hinted that the duo will feature in the four-day day-night Test against Zimbabwe on December 26.

De Villiers has not played for the national side since January 2016 due to recurring injuries and his self-imposed sabbatical. But, the former Proteas skipper has made himself available for selection and coach Ottis believes that the player should have no problem in winning back his spot.

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 During a press conference in Johannesburg, Gibson was asked by a journalist whether any spot is vacant for De Villiers in the Test team. The journalist had termed his question as “stupid” and Gibson replied in a humourous way. “What was it you said first there?” Gibson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo before adding: “You’ve answered your question.”

Dale Steyn has also missed a lot of cricket due to his injuries and his last appearance for South Africa was back in November last year. However, he has recovered well and Ottis said that the determination of the veteran pacer makes him a huge asset for the team in any format of the game.

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“He has got a lot of T20 cricket to play and he has also got a lot of time where we can build up his workload and see that he is 100% fit. He is Dale Steyn. He is not some average guy from down the road. He is one of the best bowlers the country has ever produced. If you look him in the eyes and you say, ‘Dale are you sure you can make it?’ and he says he can make it, then he is getting the opportunity.”

South Africa had a good start under Ottis Gibson as they completed a series whitewash against Bangladesh. However, there are tough times ahead for the top-ranked Test team in the world as they will host India and Australia at home next year.

First Published: Oct 31, 2017 21:19 IST