Champions League T20 news

Titans retain de Villiers in squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 12, 2012

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

AB de Villiers took the gloves after Mark Boucher's injury, Somerset v South Africans, Tour Match, Taunton, 1st day, July 9, 2012
Keeping in all formats has added to the strain on AB de Villiers © Getty Images

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by KhanAshfaq17 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.

Posted by landl47 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

Posted by Afrikaanse_Hoer_Seunskool 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

Posted by PanGlupek 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)

Posted by abbujaan 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.

Posted by PanGlupek 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 ....

Posted by Afrikaanse_Hoer_Seunskool 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

Posted by vivek_khyati 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..

Posted by Robster1 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.

Posted by prax123 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.

Posted by stormy16 on (October 12, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

I would take the gloves off AB - its simply a risk too high. As a result of the gloves this guy doesnt know where to bat anymore - he must bat at #3 or 4 in limited over cricket and lower in tests. What's more his injuries could force him off the field. Agreed MSD does it and Sanga did it but that doesnt mean AB MUST do it. If he is not comfortable doing it and SA run the risk missing AB to injuries then it cannot be done.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

Because MS and AB are different person and SA team has a bad 'FAME' (!) that is CHOKER.So,its a very difficult task for him.

Posted by edgie on (October 12, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

@CricketMaan, of the two players you mentioned, only Kumar is similar to AB as MSD normally bats at no 5/6 in the team, where as Kumar sometiems opens, or comes in at 3, and AB normally at 4/5. Also, MSD has only ever kept (with the odd fielding stint here and there), whereas AB started hsi career in the field as a very capable fielder soit will take him a while to get use to juggling all three roles. His Captaincy is in it's infancy, but I think he will make acapable cptain, with the right support and guidance.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Well AB isn't is a natural keeper who has done keeping across all formats in domestic too. So his work load should be shared. Have a keeper for tests and let A bat freely. Similar for ODIs. T20 he can keep but he should bat higher.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 12, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

What workload? MSD has been doing all 3 since 2007 and has been successful as well!! Kumar did that with grace and success..AB too can do it successfully!!

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