South Africa news December 31, 2013

De Villiers to have hand surgery


AB de Villiers, the South Africa Test wicketkeeper, will be out of action for up to a month as he recovers from hand surgery, but is expected to be fit in time for the series against Australia in February. He will likely play no part in the domestic 20-overs competition, which starts with a triple-header on January 5.

"AB fractured his left hand during the IPL in 2011 after which he had a plate inserted to assist with recovery. The plate has started to cause discomfort in his hand and will be surgically removed in the first week of January," Mohammad Moosajee, the South African team manager, said. "The recovery period is usually three-four weeks and he should be ready in time for the series against Australia in February."

South Africa do not have any international cricket scheduled for January because of the curtailed India series. As a result most of the national players will be available for the 20-overs tournament which runs until February 9. This season the tournament was due to have a much higher profile with several international signings including Chris Gayle and Saeed Ajmal.

After the competition, international fixtures resume. Australia tour the country for three Tests and three T20s, starting on February 12. That will be followed by the World Twenty20 before the winter break. Should de Villiers not be fit in time for the Australia series, South Africa will likely use reserve wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile in his place.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on January 7, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    @ Z.Majid wants to get rid of Smith, ranked in the ICC top 10, in form, SA's only capable skipper, ave just under 50, and THE most successful 4th innings batsman playing, historically in the top 3 ever Why? Hoping to see SA slide down the rankings, perhaps? Guaranteed, that would happen.

  • David on January 7, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Kallis' retirement has changed the landscape. SA simply CANNOT afford any batting passengers. We have to bring in another REAL bowler to replace Kallis, & there is no more room for the luxury of batting passengers.

    JP is a passenger right now. He did not make it as a test batsman. Done - time to move on. Adding another passenger like Thami will kill this team. Neither should play. Drop JP and add de Kock as a BATSMAN who can keep, (if AB can't,) not as the keeper. That takes all the droll out of the Thami equation. Then add the best choice bowler - Abbot, Hendricks??? If SA have to have a "spinner," make it Robbie P. He makes it as a batsman ahead of guys like JP!

    No Kleinveld, no Tsolokile, no McLaren, no Parnell. And no JP. Five years, never fulfilled his promise: 99 runs in 6 inns vs Pak & India! 115 ODI - 3 centuries. de Kock scored 4 in 16. We need batsmen, not passengers.

    I guess SA can have a pretty rainbow test team - or the #1 team.

  • David on January 7, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    @ SevereCritic. England started their just completed series with the same ideas and attitude you display. They were utterly destroyed. If the Proteas adopt your attitude, the same will happen.

    There is not 1 SA player who knows what it is like to play cricket without Kallis. This is not like he is out injured - they know he is not coming back, & that will cause a change in the team dynamic. The biggest change is reflected in these words of yours "Against Steyn, Philander and Morkel…." AND WHO ELSE? SA's bowling attack is without it's most experienced partnership breaker - it's most thoughtful bowler. Who will replace him? Our spinners are lightweight. Will the selector try to play it safe and put in an "all-rounder" that is not worth it? Will they have the guts to go all pace? Remember, we need 5 bowlers, and Duminy does not deserve a place in the team, based on his form, & average.

    Aus have been through chaos, & have just settled down. SA now have to find their feet. Be real!

  • Channan on January 3, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    With Kallis gone and ABD on casualty corner, are some of you saying Smith should retire. Unless you want to be fighting with India for the number 5 spot in ICC rankings, get serious.

  • Jonathan Keith on January 3, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    ANYONE that is thinking of dropping Graeme smith for De Kock is very misinformed. Smith is starting to bat very well and is averaging over 60 in his last 6 months. Alvero Pertersen should be replaced by De Kock~! HOW is it possible that people are unable to see that he is averaging less than 40 in the last 6 months but instead they want to get rid of Graeme smith. The south african public are very subjective.

  • Zaeem on January 2, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    although Smith has an avg of 49 and he is very successful as captain his old and its time for him to go de kock has already replaced him in ODI's so he can do it in tests

  • Murray on January 2, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    @ SevereCritic on (December 31, 2013, 18:42 GMT). "Harris is a quality bowler." Even the most severe critic would recognise that ! :). As an Aussie I am looking forward to series. We'll find out how we are going pretty soon :). I would be disappointed if Kallis being retired, Amla, as you say, being in career worst form, was time-matched with AB being unavailable. Then again breaking teams could become a wonderful habit.

  • Mark on January 1, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    SevereCritic Look at Australia Record against SA, Similar Batting attack has scored 3 x 500 in the Last 5 Tests, SA ans Australia Have Similar approach to the Wickets and Always have good Test. Plus England have Allowed a few Batsmen to gain Form. And Australia weaknesses over the last 2 years have been to spin not Pace. It will be a Good Series,

  • S on December 31, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    Should be an easy series for the Saffers. Aussies cant bat. Even on a road of a pitch against a washed out Anderson and Swann at Adelaide, they couldnt score 500+. Watto is the worst no 3 Aussies have ever produced. Can't understand how a batting position held by Bradman, Chapelli and Ponting in the past could have gone to a player like Watto. Smith and Bailey are passengers. Clarke can bat. But he cant do all the batting for the team. Rogers is good for an occasional 50. Warner is more miss than hit. Against Steyn, Philander and Morkel, Warner will mostly be a miss. As the Saffers showed, that they can still win a series comfortably even when their best batsman (Amla) is grossly out of form. Harris is a quality bowler.

  • Jay on December 31, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    @Z.majid Why should anyone replace Smith? Do you remember the effect of handing over captaincy to AB had on the team? How many ODIs did SA win in those 2 years after him? It took them two years to get stable. Do you have any replacement as a captain?

    Also, he averaged 62 in the India series and was involved in 2 100 runs stands and a 50 run stand. What more do you want from your opener?

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