Champions League T20 2012 October 25, 2012

Fitness concerns for AB de Villiers

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AB de Villiers has been ruled out of Titans' Champions League semi-final against Sydney Sixers on Friday. De Villiers has not played a match in the tournament as he recovers from a chronic lower-back condition and did not pass his fitness test on Thursday morning.

"He is still getting a recurrence of lower-back pain," Matthew Maynard, Titans coach, said. The Titans were prepared to go into the match without De Villiers though, and do not see the latest development as upsetting to their plans.

What will be a concern, however, is whether De Villiers will be able to bat and keep wicket during South Africa's three Test tour of Australia, which starts in just over two weeks' time. De Villiers has been listed as the designated wicketkeeper and was instructed to take a three-week break after the World T20 to ensure he is able to fulfill that role.

The time period comes to an end on Friday but he has not been passed match-fit and there is no exact determination of how much more recovery time he needs. National management is keeping a close eye on the situation and expects De Villiers to be able to assume all his duties in Australia. "He will definitely be able to travel to Australia but we will have to take it day by day on tour," Mohammed Moosajee, team manager said.

Moosajee has been monitoring De Villiers' back condition since he took over the wicketkeeping role from Mark Boucher at the start of the tour of England. He does not expect De Villiers will be able to continue it permanently.

"AB has had this back condition for a while and we knew about it. We knew that it would never resolve completely but that he would have times where he would be completely fine and then bouts when it would come back," Moosajee said. "When his workload increases, it flares up. So in the long term, some strategic decision will have to be made."

The main decision is how long De Villiers will continue as wicketkeeper and who will be selected as the replacement. On the tour of Australia, Moosajee reminded that "we've got Thami Tsolekile as back-up so if something happens, he is there."

Tsolekile was nationally contracted in February, an indication that he would be part of the squad, and joined them when Boucher suffered a career-ending injury in England. He only played in the tour matches and De Villiers kept in all three Tests. It is believed that the national administration wants to re-introduce Tsolekile to international cricket at home, in what will be considered a less-challenging series against New Zealand in January rather than have him play against Australia first up.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Funplexhead on October 27, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    UNLEASH DE KOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on October 27, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Play AB as specialist batsman,reduces his workload,and groom De Cock for the future,the guy's got technique.

  • Robster1 on October 27, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Get de Kock in the squad for this tour - Tsolekile will not make a run in Australia.

  • on October 27, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    Include Players for South Africa 20-20 matches who performed well in Champions League 20-20.

  • Moppa on October 26, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    As an Australian fan it would be very disappointing not to see de Villiers fully fit to take on the Aussies. Glad he's resting through these garbage T20s. PS: surely if there's any concern about his back, Tsolekile has to play. PPS: if Tsolekile isn't good enough, I agree with others who suggest giving de Kock a go.

  • on October 26, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    aus vs sa..will b one heck of a series..lookin forward to it big time

  • KESHALD on October 26, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Long term solution...Quinton de Kock! get him keeping for lions asap, or move to another franchise to keep wicket. Quinton de Kock!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 26, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    @landl47 (post on October 26 2012, 04:15 AM GMT): hehe, yeah I got a bit carried away and meant to write "why he would have been allowed to play in the first place..." Re. SA middle order against England last series: well that just strengthens my argument further then - that the inclusion of Tsolekile wouldn't dent the batting much, and allow AB to focus on batting alone. Faf's a decent player, but not so low down in the order; Botha/Duminy... *shrugs shoulders*... Jacques Rudolph I think should be in there. Some of the bowlers like Philander and Robin Peterson (if he plays) can yield the willow well at times...

  • Shongololo on October 26, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Clearly the selectors don't believe Tsolekeli is good enough, if they wish to 're-introduce' him at home, against NZ. I say take the most talented wicketkeeper batsman in the country, the young Quinton de Kock, and give him the job. Boucher was introduced at a similar age and, in my opinion, de Kock is a far better 19-year old propsect than Boucher was. Show some balls, Cricket SA.

  • anver777 on October 26, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    I'm a AB fan & like to see him 100% fit & fresh in the Aus series.... he's so important player in the SA lineup, specially when your'e playing against tough Aussies !!!!

  • Funplexhead on October 27, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    UNLEASH DE KOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on October 27, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Play AB as specialist batsman,reduces his workload,and groom De Cock for the future,the guy's got technique.

  • Robster1 on October 27, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Get de Kock in the squad for this tour - Tsolekile will not make a run in Australia.

  • on October 27, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    Include Players for South Africa 20-20 matches who performed well in Champions League 20-20.

  • Moppa on October 26, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    As an Australian fan it would be very disappointing not to see de Villiers fully fit to take on the Aussies. Glad he's resting through these garbage T20s. PS: surely if there's any concern about his back, Tsolekile has to play. PPS: if Tsolekile isn't good enough, I agree with others who suggest giving de Kock a go.

  • on October 26, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    aus vs sa..will b one heck of a series..lookin forward to it big time

  • KESHALD on October 26, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Long term solution...Quinton de Kock! get him keeping for lions asap, or move to another franchise to keep wicket. Quinton de Kock!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 26, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    @landl47 (post on October 26 2012, 04:15 AM GMT): hehe, yeah I got a bit carried away and meant to write "why he would have been allowed to play in the first place..." Re. SA middle order against England last series: well that just strengthens my argument further then - that the inclusion of Tsolekile wouldn't dent the batting much, and allow AB to focus on batting alone. Faf's a decent player, but not so low down in the order; Botha/Duminy... *shrugs shoulders*... Jacques Rudolph I think should be in there. Some of the bowlers like Philander and Robin Peterson (if he plays) can yield the willow well at times...

  • Shongololo on October 26, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Clearly the selectors don't believe Tsolekeli is good enough, if they wish to 're-introduce' him at home, against NZ. I say take the most talented wicketkeeper batsman in the country, the young Quinton de Kock, and give him the job. Boucher was introduced at a similar age and, in my opinion, de Kock is a far better 19-year old propsect than Boucher was. Show some balls, Cricket SA.

  • anver777 on October 26, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    I'm a AB fan & like to see him 100% fit & fresh in the Aus series.... he's so important player in the SA lineup, specially when your'e playing against tough Aussies !!!!

  • sifter132 on October 26, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    "It is believed that the national administration wants to re-introduce Tsolekile to international cricket at home... rather than have him play against Australia first up" All nice in theory, but geez, harden up! Honestly how is coddling this guy going to help?? He's going to have to play away from home sooner or later. Might as well be sooner, it will be a better test of his mental strength.

  • landl47 on October 26, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK: maybe you've been seduced by the wildly inaccurate comments of some of the 'neutral' fans on here about the England/SA series. SA won the first test comfortably and their middle order didn't bat, but in the second and third tests everyone from 4-10 batted 4 times and had a total of just two 50s from those 28 innings. I'd call that being tested, wouldn't you? In fact, SA didn't win the series by much. England were looking good to win when the second test was rained out and only finished 50 short in the third. Basically, two dropped catches (Petersen in the second test and Amla in the third, both of whom went on to make hundreds) cost England the series. BTW, de Villiers hasn't played in the Champions League, so he hasn't been chucking himself around. They do mention it in the first paragraph of the article.

  • on October 26, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    They need to give the long suffering Tsolekile a chance and stop dragging him along, I have never seen him bat or keep wicket, but if they dont think he is good enough they need to man up and say so and select who they want

  • dalboy12 on October 25, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Not many players can handle batting high up the order and keeping in tests - in the end they give one away. AB comes over as a great guy and a very good batsman -- with Kallis at the end of his career, AB could well be the key to SA batting in the next few years. They need to look after him - get a new keeper in there. Can't wait for SA v Aust series - the battle of the quicks , don't choke this time SA!!!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 25, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    @landl47 (post on (October 25 2012, 13:39 PM GMT): I was impressed with AB's wicket-keeping in England... so many balls kept low, and darted about all over the place, and AB was tidy behind the sticks in every game. I do agree his batting suffered though. He MUST be managed better than this, and why he is being allowed to throw himself around in rubbish like the Champions League is shocking. I really don't see SA's test batting being dented significantly by giving the gloves to the likes of Tsolekile, but maybe I'm only saying this because their middle-order wasn't really tested against England?

  • Harmony111 on October 25, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Dear o dear. I hope this is nothing serious or recurring. ABD is a fab fab batsman and should score buckets of runs in the future. I hope SA don't expect him to keep wickets for a long time in any case. I don't know much about SA domestic cricket but isn't Davy Jacobs a wk too? Is he good enough for tests? SA's chances will dip a lot if ABD doesn't play in Aus. I do believe that at the moment ABD is one of the best 5-6 batsmen in the world, may be higher and could any day become the best batsman provided he is not burdened more than he can handle. Get well soon ABD.

  • on October 25, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Why are they setting up Tsolekile to fail? Clearly there are keepers with a better record than him, i.e Kuhn, Vilas(de Qock isn't keeping for the lions so he's out of the running, much like de Villiers). Then ppl will say black players are not good enough. Play Tsotsobe in the ODI's, leave Tsolekile out. How will the selectors justify his inclusion?

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on October 25, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    Even if he is 100 % fit, AB should not keep wicket because he is one of the two best batsmen in da world with kp and there is no point in burdening him

  • Beertjie on October 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    This idea of ABdV keeping for 3 tests will be counterproductive, as @landl47 points out. Preserve him from now on as best possible (slips) and expect to get runs from him. I can see him missing a stumping (Clarke!) that will help Oz escape, like happened almost happened in England with Ian Bell. Bite the bullet with Thami now, Gazza, or you'll merely be making a rod for your own back.

  • Reececonrad on October 25, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    I don't think AB should keep, I think it will put more stress on his back , he is the most talented player we have by far and we cannot risk him getting injured. One thing that does concern me is the fact that Tsolekile is the Back up keeper his first class average is 29 which is quite low considering we have two very talented keepers in Kuhn and Vilas, who average over 46. they are also younger than him. AB is a huge part of our setup and we should give him the rest he needs.

  • on October 25, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    QUINTON DE KOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reececonrad on October 25, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    I don't think AB should keep, I think it will put more stress on his back , he is the most talented player we have by far and we cannot risk him getting injured. One thing that does concern me is the fact that Tsolekile is the Back up keeper his first class average is 29 which is quite low considering we have two very talented keepers in Kuhn and Vilas, who average over 46. they are also younger than him. AB is a huge part of our setup and we should give him the rest he needs.

  • parthaacs on October 25, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    if he was playing for Lions, some of the whingers here would have claimed it was only to let IPL team Delhi to win!!!

  • Dashgar on October 25, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    AB shouldn't keep wicket in Australia. Back injuries are not something to take lightly. If Tsolike isn't good enough then find someone who is. The trouble for South Africa is that all their best keepers play for England now.

  • TheCricketLady on October 25, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    No no no! Leave poor AB alone, let him recover enough for the Oz series. I may be a Titans fan but clearly defending our no.1 Test ranking is more important than winning the CL (which we will anyway, touch wood!) Their top order have been doing well enough without AB. Think about the country here guys!

  • landl47 on October 25, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    This is madness. ABD is a world-class batsman but a very ordinary wicketkeeper. In England, where he kept wicket, he didn't make a 50 in the tests. Now we're told that SA is willing to risk his fitness and form, maybe even his career, by playing him as a W/K so that a 32-year old full-time W/K doesn't have to face Australia. This is good news- for Australia, that is. At a stroke SA is weakening both its batting and its wicketkeeping. What next, I wonder. Play Smith and Kallis in the outfield and put Steyn and Morkel in the slips so they won't get tired?

  • CricketMaan on October 25, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Cosidering international cricketers workload, Dhoni has been in pristine fitness ever since he came on to the scene. The only time he opted out was a tour to SL, kudos to him. AB and Sanga have been the others who had to manage captaincy and keeping across formats, though Sanga has moved away from keeping in Tests. AB is important to SA, hope he gives up keeping when he takes over leardership from Grame in the longer version.

  • on October 25, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Tsolekile would have to improve on his test average of 9.40 in 5 innings or South Africa will be a batsmen short if AB can't keep wicket against Australia.

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  • on October 25, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Tsolekile would have to improve on his test average of 9.40 in 5 innings or South Africa will be a batsmen short if AB can't keep wicket against Australia.

  • CricketMaan on October 25, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Cosidering international cricketers workload, Dhoni has been in pristine fitness ever since he came on to the scene. The only time he opted out was a tour to SL, kudos to him. AB and Sanga have been the others who had to manage captaincy and keeping across formats, though Sanga has moved away from keeping in Tests. AB is important to SA, hope he gives up keeping when he takes over leardership from Grame in the longer version.

  • landl47 on October 25, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    This is madness. ABD is a world-class batsman but a very ordinary wicketkeeper. In England, where he kept wicket, he didn't make a 50 in the tests. Now we're told that SA is willing to risk his fitness and form, maybe even his career, by playing him as a W/K so that a 32-year old full-time W/K doesn't have to face Australia. This is good news- for Australia, that is. At a stroke SA is weakening both its batting and its wicketkeeping. What next, I wonder. Play Smith and Kallis in the outfield and put Steyn and Morkel in the slips so they won't get tired?

  • TheCricketLady on October 25, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    No no no! Leave poor AB alone, let him recover enough for the Oz series. I may be a Titans fan but clearly defending our no.1 Test ranking is more important than winning the CL (which we will anyway, touch wood!) Their top order have been doing well enough without AB. Think about the country here guys!

  • Dashgar on October 25, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    AB shouldn't keep wicket in Australia. Back injuries are not something to take lightly. If Tsolike isn't good enough then find someone who is. The trouble for South Africa is that all their best keepers play for England now.

  • parthaacs on October 25, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    if he was playing for Lions, some of the whingers here would have claimed it was only to let IPL team Delhi to win!!!

  • Reececonrad on October 25, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    I don't think AB should keep, I think it will put more stress on his back , he is the most talented player we have by far and we cannot risk him getting injured. One thing that does concern me is the fact that Tsolekile is the Back up keeper his first class average is 29 which is quite low considering we have two very talented keepers in Kuhn and Vilas, who average over 46. they are also younger than him. AB is a huge part of our setup and we should give him the rest he needs.

  • on October 25, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    QUINTON DE KOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reececonrad on October 25, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    I don't think AB should keep, I think it will put more stress on his back , he is the most talented player we have by far and we cannot risk him getting injured. One thing that does concern me is the fact that Tsolekile is the Back up keeper his first class average is 29 which is quite low considering we have two very talented keepers in Kuhn and Vilas, who average over 46. they are also younger than him. AB is a huge part of our setup and we should give him the rest he needs.

  • Beertjie on October 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    This idea of ABdV keeping for 3 tests will be counterproductive, as @landl47 points out. Preserve him from now on as best possible (slips) and expect to get runs from him. I can see him missing a stumping (Clarke!) that will help Oz escape, like happened almost happened in England with Ian Bell. Bite the bullet with Thami now, Gazza, or you'll merely be making a rod for your own back.