South Africa news December 2, 2016

De Villiers, Morkel to play domestic T20s in fitness bid


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WATCH - De Villiers makes unbelievable 129*

AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel will be available for their franchise, Titans, in a bid to prove their fitness for the home series against Sri Lanka later this month. Both de Villiers and Morkel have been out of action since the CPL with an elbow and back injury respectively, but are expected to be available for selection for the Test squad.

De Villiers is in the final stages of recovery from elbow surgery which saw him miss the New Zealand Tests in August, the home ODIs and the three Tests against Australia. The Titans confirmed to ESPNcricinfo he will be available for the final two matches of their campaign, which will take place next week.

Whether de Villiers gets game time could be crucial to his participation in the home summer, especially since South Africa's selection convener Linda Zondi stressed he will need to be match fit before he can resume his national duties. De Villiers is expected to return as captain even though Faf du Plessis made a strong case to keep the role permanently following ODI and Test series wins over Australia.

Morkel, who travelled with the Test squad to Australia but did not play a game because of concerns over match readiness, is available for T20s but has not been picked for Friday night's fixture against Warriors. With Titans at the top of the table and hopeful of securing their spot in the final, the management has chosen not to alter the team. A source also confirmed that Morkel has not been cleared to bowl longer spells, which could put his participation in the Tests in doubt.

Meanwhile, Hashim Amla sustained a neck injury while fielding at slip during the final Test in Adelaide and will sit out the remainder of the T20 competition. JP Duminy, though, is available to play for the Cobras.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AltafPatel on December 8, 2016, 13:25 GMT

    Keshav Maharaj should be played instead of Shamsi.

  • AltafPatel on December 8, 2016, 13:24 GMT

    AB should continue with premier leagues. SA's 5-0 whitewash of Aus and easy test series win in Aus enough to prove that he is no longer needed. Morkel should also be rested for in-form Abbott.

  • ansell on December 6, 2016, 15:16 GMT

    Why drop Abbott? 8 and 6 wickets in the last 2 tests. Test bowling average of 21. Tsotsobe, who has done nothing in the past year has test average of 49. Please give your reasons for the recommendation to replace Abbott with Tsotsobe. And what has Ramela done in the last year to justify selection? Cook scored 40 and a century in his last test.

  • GladStone92 on December 6, 2016, 13:16 GMT

    They should bring back Lonwabo Tsotsobe and select Ompi Ramela for the first Test. Abbott and Cook should be dropped.

  • cricfan40395064 on December 5, 2016, 6:05 GMT

    sa are world champions cos they win bilateral series and they boast of by saying that they are the best ever ,, lol have u ever watched abs press conference before a match?? sa fans be polite and humble before boasting of that u r the number 1 team in this world that too by wining some bilateral series,,, for now all i can say is the dream goes on and on......

  • BokFan on December 4, 2016, 23:08 GMT

    @CRICFAN40395064: Ever goes back only 16 years? South Africa beat India in India, 2-0 in 2000, losing the toss both times and batting second twice. The height of Hansie Cronje's career, and ultimately his downfall. AND they did it before the masters-of-the-universe, back then, Australia did it.

    On WC T20 and ODI they need coaches and selectors who aren't prone to brain-freeze at key moments. The search goes on...

  • docarw on December 4, 2016, 20:33 GMT

    @THARINDU LAKSHAN Thanks. Always look forward to playing Sri Lanka, such a small and humble country, but consistently produces seriously talented cricketers like Sanga and Murali.

  • docarw on December 4, 2016, 20:28 GMT

    @CRICFAN40395064 - since 1992 SA has won 6 test series against India, one of which was in India. India has won 3 test series against SA, and all were in India, so shut up.

    Hope AB lets Faf continue as captain. Think Faf enjoys it more anyway. Seems to bring out the best in Faf, and the worst in AB.

  • cricfan40395064 on December 4, 2016, 16:54 GMT

    will sa ever win a test series in india? So called amlas and abds ur best players couldn't win the series in India then I doubt will they ever win a series in India ??? Will sa ever win t20wc??? Will sa ever win odi World Cup? Sure the dream goes on and on and ..... anyways for sa these things doesn't matter cos for them wining a bilateral test series is the most important thing ...will the dream ever come true ???? god knows ??? I wonder if anyone ever knew about the word 'choke' before sa started playing ,, yes sa have achieved great press by wining a bilateral test series and by making the word 'choke' famous ...

  • Brokensaint on December 4, 2016, 16:40 GMT

    cricfan60191101 great looking team I love the look of maharaj but shamsi for me just pips him for attacking ability. both are fantastic

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