Champions League T20 news October 12, 2012

Titans retain de Villiers in squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

AB de Villiers will remain part of the Titans squad for the Champions League T20 despite his back injury although he's still unlikely to take any part in the tournament with concerns about him being fit for South Africa's tour of Australia.

De Villiers returned from the World Twenty20 with a number of injury concerns, the most serious of which is his back, and Mohammed Moosajee, the South African team manager, has confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the priority remains having him ready for Australia rather than there being any realistic chance of him appearing at the CLT20.

Matthew Maynard, the Titans coach, said: "AB is currently undergoing an extensive back rehabilitation and strengthening program. He is an extremely valuable player and we hope that we could use him during the latter stages of the tournament."

"Even if he doesn't play, having AB in the squad will still be a benefit to us as his experience and knowledge of the game will rub off onto the rest of the team."

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.

However, de Villiers has previously indicated he does want to shelve any of his roles: "I am enjoying the captaincy so much, it's something I wouldn't like to give up," he said. "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. If I miss out on a year at the end of my career so be it but we should win games."

Thami Tsolekile, who was called up to the England tour after Boucher's injury against Somerset, has been included in the Test squad and one of the key decisions the South African management will have to make at the start of that tour is whether he takes over from de Villiers behind the stumps.

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  • Ashfaq on October 13, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    A B devilliers is probably the most fascinating cricketer of the recent times & yeah the prominent factor behind his injurial present is the glove worl he has been put to do, he is an incredible let South Africa not forget that, plz keep him infront of bat & not behind.

  • John on October 13, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    ABD's keeping weakens the batting and weakens the wicketkeeping, quite apart from the fact that it obviously affects his fitness. I have no idea why SA would want, let alone expect, him to take on both roles

  • Francois on October 12, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    we do have some first grade keepers, there is heino kuhn and also Quniton de knock who is still very young. but the fact that worries me the most is we havent found a suitable replacement for jack kallis. the day he retires our team wont have that amazing balance it has now due to the incredible depth and versatility he provides

  • Pan on October 12, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    R.e the Sanga comparison, I believe Sanga wasn't keeping while he captained the side (and he doesn't keep much anymore anyway, except in T20's & maybe ODI's)?

    (Although I don't think AB, KS or MSD are the best keepers in thier countries, they all just keep because thier batting is good enough to keep the better keepers out, and thier keeping is not bad enough to be a liability. Probably the case with many more teams too)

  • togo on October 12, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    CricketMaan, You can not compare MSD with AB. MSD is a wicket keeper first, and bats much down the order to begin with. His batting load is nowhere close to AB's. You can only compare AB to Kumar as he bats higher up, and his batting contribution to SL is very crucial - just like AB's. Both AB and Kumar make it into their respective teams as batsmen. MSD couldn't make it into the indian team if he had to discard gloves.

  • Pan on October 12, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    AB is an amazing batsman, and, to be honest, not a great keeper in my humble opinion. I know it balances the side nicely to have a top order batsman with the gloves, but it is a lot to ask someone to keep, captain, and bat in the top order.

    Can't see him doing all 3 jobs in all 3 formats as a long-term solution, really. CSA probably have enough batting to allow thier best keeper to keep (Tsolekile?), even if his batting isn't as good, then give AB a rest from the squat-thrusts, if it's his workload giving him niggles ....

  • Francois on October 12, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    sorry to burst the bubble of the indian fans here, but ABD is a class class above MSD..donno how you could even compare the two. ABD is one of the best batsmen around today and bats at no. 4/5...MSD bats at 7 on flat wickets in india ant by the time he is in, the work is already 80% done

  • vivekanand on October 12, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    AB is one of the (and probably in top 3) of the game changers at present.. whether wicket keeping is adding pressure upon him is a matter of perspective.. sometimes i feel watching the behavior of wicket from behind the stumps may be an augmenting factor reflected in batting.. improvement in batting average of rahul dravid when he was asked to keep wickets by saurav is an proof.. if a team has a powerful, strong batting performer as its keeper, it allows more room to strike balance of team, or gives u a chance to play an extra bowler or bowling allrounder..

  • Rob on October 12, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    I would also take the gloves off AB permanently - Vilas, Kuhn or Van Wyk should be the national keeper right now, with de Kock in SA's squad.

  • Prakash on October 12, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    MSD started his career as Wicket Keeper whereas AB comes as proper batsman and brilliant fielder,I think he will do better as Wicket Keeper in coming years.

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