Champions League T20 news October 24, 2012

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on October 25, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Re AB - There are reasons for and against him playing. Obviously if it's an injury he could aggravate it's unwise to risk him. However it could also help him sharpen up his game. As an Eng fan , Flower used the excuse of the team being undercooked before UAE so there is a balance between rushing a player back too fast and having too little match practice. I hope (as a Somerset fan) Titans win it. Alf has been a great servant to our side and Van Der Merwe - while only playing a handful or so of games - made a huge impact with Somerset fans. A much underrated player who I'm sure most Somerset fans would love to see return to play for the side

  • Anver on October 25, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    At this juncture SA should not risk by playing their ace player in CLT20 semis... he's so important for coming series & must be 100% fit !!!!

  • Pranav on October 25, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    My aploigies.. I forgot to add SHAHID AFRIDI!!! he is out of form with the bat.. but just needs a couple good hits!

  • Pranav on October 25, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    The extra runs that an added specialist batsman makes compared to a half AB after keeping wickets for a day.. doesnt balance out.. I would rather see SA play a keeper who bats a little and see AB play as a batsmen.. SA will get more runs! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE AB!!! I am indian, but he has to be one of my most favorite players.. his spirit, sportsmanship, and his class.. From AUS I would pick Brett LEE/ Mike HUSSEY as my fav, SA woudl be AB/ KALLIS/ AMLA, England KP & Flintoff, Sri Lanka Sanga and MJ, WI I love SAMMY (great sport, the captian WI needed right now), NZ are the most down to earth! but AB needs to be releaved of gloves in tests and ODIs, t20s is fine!

  • Srinivas on October 24, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    AB is a worldclass batsman. Let him be that. Burdening him with the responsibilites of WK would result in such scenarios. Even his batting got affected due to the WK. I never understood the strategy of filling up the team with allrounders. Also, SA is abundant in reserve talent for all the positions. Changing direction would be the best course of action for AB and the team.

  • Fitzherbert on October 24, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    Devilliers is a good batsman but his obsession with keeping probably cost SA a semi-final spot in 20/20 world cup. His batting was poor and his captaincy was ridiculed by cricket journalists. SA should make a decision which is in the best interest of the team.The CL20/20 has showcased the brilliance of Tsokelile's keeping. He should be drafted into the team while allowing Devilliers to concentrate on his batting. South Africa will always have the choker's tag if their team selections are guided by individual preferences rather than collective wisdom.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Has anybody forgotten about Morne van Wyk? He has scored two centuries already this season in 3 FC innings. Tsolekile has 3 ducks to his name thus far this season. They are the same age. They are both good glovemen. Have to wonder if there are OTHER reasons behind Tsolekile being picked over MvW.

  • Blessing on October 24, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Would love to see both S.A. teams reach the final but the series against Aus is too important to risk ABD esp. since i like the the idea of him keeping gloves hence it makes S.A.'s batting line up the strongets in the test arena at the moment.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    On the subject of titans players I think the proteas should take Van Der Merwe to Oz in the test squad. He offers good control,flight and gets turn with his bowling and offers a left arms option to the attack which is the only thing the current SA bowling attack lacks. Further more he bats much better than Tahir.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Even if Devilliers is fit he shouldnt play the semi final as he needs to make sure he is fully fit and in good touch for the longer format. Playing the champions league will disrupt his touch. Further more,it wouldnt be fair on the titan's player who has helped them get to semi finals just to make way. The titans have got to the Semi Finals as they have played as underdogs. I think Devilliers needs to give up the gloves in all formats otherwise I can see him having further back problems which will cut short his career. SA should take DeCock and Tilosekle as the two keepers for the Australia tour and give AB's back a rest. AB is needed more for his batting.

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