De Villiers to undergo fitness test ahead of Titans' semi-final
AB de Villiers, South Africa's limited-overs captain, will undergo a fitness test on Thursday morning to determine his availability for Titans' Champions League semi-final on Friday against Sydney Sixers in Centurion. But coach Matthew Maynard said it is doubtful de Villiers will play even if given the all clear.
South Africa's national-team management requested that de Villiers take three weeks rest after a chronic back and ankle injury returned during the World T20s in Sri Lanka.
"AB's rehabilitation has gone well. We do have one eye on getting him on the plane to Australia and ready for the tour," Mohammed Moosajee, the South Africa team manager, told ESPNcricinfo.
South Africa start their Australia tour with a three-day match on November 2 against Australia A at the SCG. The three-Test series will kick off on November 9 in Brisbane. De Villiers is expected to keep in all three Tests and there is still some concern over whether his back will hold up. Reserve wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile is also in the squad to fill in if de Villiers' injury recurs.
He has not played competitive cricket since South Africa's T20 match against India on October 2 at the World T20 and was ruled out of the Champions League. Titans chose to keep him in the squad despite the diagnosis in the hope he would be able to play a part in the knockouts.
De Villiers has taken on a huge workload in recent months following the enforced retirement of Mark Boucher at the start of the England tour. He became the wicketkeeper-batsman across all three formats while he also captains South Africa in ODIs and Twenty20s.
He has indicated previously that he enjoys the extra responsibility that comes with wicketkeeping. "Batting for the team and taking the gloves for the side, knowing the position I am playing in is better for the side and we can win more games, that gives me a lot of pleasure," he had earlier said. "If I miss out on a year at the end of my career so be it but we should win games."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent