July 18, 2012

South African cricket

'Will de Villiers be the long term wicketkeeper?'

Abhishek Mukherjee

The eye injury to Mark Boucher may have prompted AB de Villiers to don the gloves for South Africa in the upcoming Test series against England, but Pommie Mbangwa, writing in Supersport, points the dilemma of viewing de Villiers as the long-term wicketkeeper.

One wonders if the plan was always to have De Villiers as the man to take over from Boucher. A few years ago, I remember that there were issues of a back injury and talk of loading too much on one player, suggesting that it was not the plan. The philosophy may well have changed since then, but it seems to me nobody really knows. To be fair to the selectors and the team management, AB was intended to act also as the cover for Boucher in the 'keeping department.

For the Proteas to have “the” injury happen right at the start of the tour meant that there was a big call to be made and in this instance, I reckon even if AB was not too keen to take the gloves (which he probably was happy to do if asked), there would have been some persuading done because of the fear of having too long a tail against the No 1 ranked test team in the world.

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