South Africa in England 2017 June 13, 2017

De Villiers to lead South Africa in England T20s

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AB de Villiers will finish the T20s in England and then return home, while Faf du Plessis returns for the Tests © Getty Images

Even as questions over his captaincy continue to pop up, AB de Villiers will lead South Africa's T20 squad in three matches against England in the absence of Faf du Plessis, who will return home for the birth of his first child. De Villiers will then leave the UK, with du Plessis taking over for the Tests that begin in early July.

South Africa are resting five first-choice players, including du Plessis, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada, for the T20s, with Dwaine Pretorius the only new cap. Though South Africa have been using T20 matches to experiment and blood new players - as was the case against Sri Lanka when Farhaan Behardien led the side - they have combined youth and experience in this group.

Nine members of South Africa's Champions Trophy squad will play in the T20s - de Villiers, David Miller, Behardien, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo and Pretorius - with the rest made up of players who were on the recent A-team trip to the UK, including Reeza Hendricks and Tabraiz Shamsi.

Several of the current squad also featured in the T20 series against Sri Lanka earlier in the year. Wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, bowler Dane Paterson, and opening batsmen JJ Smuts made their international debuts in that series. Promising quick Lungi Ngidi, who also played against Sri Lanka, could not be considered because of injury. He was withdrawn from the A tour with a back problem.

Of the T20 squad, Morkel, Morris and Parnell are the only ones likely to be part of the Test squad as well, which illustrates that South Africa are focused on rotating players as much as possible on a three-month tour. Spinner Keshav Maharaj, who should also feature in the Tests and was part of the Champions Trophy squad, will not play in the T20s.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan6397634550 on June 22, 2017, 4:02 GMT

    ABD is a great captain for South Africa

  • JohannK on June 19, 2017, 11:56 GMT

    AB needs time in the middle - T20 is not ideal, but runs in that series will boost his confidence, which he badly needs. Also, since he has made it clear the WC2019 is his focus, he has a duty to play all the short form games.

    It would have been much better, however, if SA tried a completely new skipper in the T20s. You never know who might emerge to take over from Faf and AB.

    With regards to ODIs, Faf really ought to serve out some punishment for recklessly running out the two most destructive batsmen in the team. AB was looking as ominous as I he had for a long time - high energy, extreme focus, plenty of time to decide which shot to play at each ball, and already ahead of a run ball after 20mins at the crease ... and getting run out was a massive stab in the back. Faf did the same at WC2011 when SA were chasing a modest total. We had the team to win that tournament. Inexperience could be blamed for that. But this time his brain fade cost the team and there is clearly a pattern

  • CheeseVanTonder on June 19, 2017, 9:35 GMT

    So he makes himself available for a pointless, meaningless and forgettable bilateral T20 series but chooses to not to play in the tests instead? We need to move on from him and let him just play T20 leagues around the world.

  • cricfan7855803488 on June 16, 2017, 20:27 GMT

    Why would AB play in meaningless T20 bilateral, but not test series?

  • doosra-sheru on June 16, 2017, 12:03 GMT

    WHOA...............I was a big fan of AB. Now I think he should move out and move on from SA cricket. He has become a liability to the team and contributes nothing when needed and it will be unkind to drop him. He should go on his own now. Take Duminy along.

  • ProteaCricketLover on June 15, 2017, 7:06 GMT

    I prefer to fill the T20 teams with coloured players just so that we can compensate for the quota requirements (this in the 21st century... sigh!!) and get more than 6 white players in the tests that follow! But AB captaining the team is a shame given his attitude over the last two years. Markram, Klassen, Olivier should have been selected instead of AB, Miller and Morkel. What more do these guys have to do for earning a call up? Are they just good only for the 'A' sides when perennial under achievers like Behardien, Parnell keep getting selected over and again. We need to try groom new players but its the usual suspects all the time.

    Reading that duminy has been left out only means that he is going to be in the test squad. This is just awful. Speaking of quotas, does Reeza Hendricks qualify as a coloured cricketer? If he is, he should be preferred over Duminy any day!

  • Gevelsis on June 14, 2017, 19:56 GMT

    What possible justification could de Villiers have for staying on for 3 T20s instead of going home to his wife and kids? Even if SA win the series 3-nil, there is no consolation, no pride to be salvaged. It's pyjama cricket. After their poor showing in the CLT, the only compensation would be a convincing Test series win against England. Which he is missing! It's very difficult to see the logic in this.

  • Brokensaint on June 14, 2017, 17:33 GMT

    it's time to can duminy and Parnell. markram klasse de bruyn these batsman need to be groomed to take the team forward. ngidi pretorius and co are also waiting in the wings. it's important that we cut the fat from the team

  • aarifboy on June 14, 2017, 12:39 GMT

    He needs to leave T20s and go for tests. His ODI batting is below average ever since he left test cricket.

  • Flat Track Bully on June 14, 2017, 9:52 GMT

    @Felisafricanus I'm sure if you ask Markram would he rather be playing for the Proteas or the A team, he would jump at the former. The A team "test" is only 1 match, not a series. Same with Klaasen, who now has fallen behind Moshele because of quotas. With De Kock also there as first choice, I can't see how Klaasen or Second will ever be given an opportunity - they should move to England.

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