South Africa in Sri Lanka 2014 July 22, 2014

De Villiers likely to give up keeping

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AB de Villiers has conceded long-term back issues could force him to give up wicketkeeping in Tests, as he has done in limited-overs cricket. De Villiers was unable to keep in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle because of a hamstring niggle and though he has recovered, he is unlikely to keep in the second Test as well.

"In the last game I had that hammy issue. That's sort of recovered, but my back's always been an issue," de Villiers said. "It's difficult to take on the gloves, especially keeping in mind that I haven't kept for six or seven months now. So, with that injury and a two-day turnaround after the day off yesterday, for me to get into shape with my gloves on would be a little bit unfair with my back."

It means Quinton de Kock, who took eight catches, had one stumping, and scored his maiden Test half-century in Galle, can be assured of his place in the XI at the SSC. With South Africa unlikely to change their batting line-up Stiaan van Zyl, who topped last season's first-class run charts, will have to wait his turn.

All of that remains fluid, though, because de Villiers is unsure of his plans, except to say that if he keeps again he will only do so only if fully fit. "I'd still like to think that I'm a wicketkeeping-batsman and whatever the team wants me to do, I'll do that," he said. "But we'd have to manage it really well so that I don't come into a series having not kept for five or six months. I have to come prepared to a series without any niggles."

South Africa's next Test assignment is a one-off match against Zimbabwe two weeks after the series in Sri Lanka ends, which may mean de Villiers does not have time to return to full wicketkeeping fitness by then. If that is the case, he won't mind occupying a place at slip in Harare. "I do enjoy fielding. It's tough at slip. The ball doesn't come to you very often. So from that perspective I enjoy keeping more - you're in the game the whole time. But it's nice to pull off something special every now and then in the field, to keep the intensity and the energy going."

Despite indications that de Villiers will give up the Test gloves permanently, the move comes too late for him to be considered for captaincy. One of the reasons de Villiers missed out on the leadership role to Hashim Amla was because he was considered overburdened by having to bat in the top five and keep wicket. Adding a third crucial responsibility was seen as a step too far, though de Villiers made himself available for captaincy.

At the time, de Villiers had admitted disappointment but promised to throw his weight behind Amla, and he reiterated that after Amla's first Test in charge. "He made a flawless start. He's always been a natural leader," de Villiers said. "What happened was something in the past. Obviously, I would have liked to do the job but he got it and I'm 100% behind him. He knows that. He had a great start and I think he's going to have an amazing career as a captain. He's got all the credentials, everything that you need to be a great leader. The whole team is right behind him."

The immediate way of showing that will be by helping Amla regain the No.1 Test ranking. To do that, South Africa need a win or a draw in Colombo, which will give them a series victory and the fraction of the point they need to leapfrog Australia.

De Villiers hoped to play his part with the bat. "I didn't have a huge Test match with the bat in the last game, although I played a decent knock in the second innings. I'd love to get in and make an impact for the team and get us into a position where we can win the game. It's never been about my own runs. If I can score as many as possible to get us into a position to win then I'll be a very happy man."

He also wants to do it for another reason. The last time South Africa lost a Test series on the road was in 2006, in Sri Lanka. De Villiers, Amla and Dale Steyn are the only remaining members of that squad. "It was very bad. I don't want to think about it," De Villiers said. "It's been eight years and I remember the change room and some of the memories come to my mind. It was eight years ago and hopefully we'll turn it around. Let's look at it as payback time."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SurlyCynic on July 22, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Whatever happens with AB and the gloves, it remains a good option for the team to have. Despite all the predictions of doom and gloom when he took the gloves (remember the articles predicting it would stop him becoming the #1 batsman) he has been absolutely superb with both gloves and bat. His test batting avg has actually gone up.

    De Kock's keeping needs to keep improving, but he is still young and is a promising batsman. Great keeper-batsmen like Gilchrist and Dhoni were not the best keepers as youngsters but they had the natural batting talent and kept working on their keeping.

  • on July 28, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    AB, you are the person who will walk on the broken glass when the team asked you to do. You are awesome. Keep doing ur good job, whether its keeping batting fielding Captaining the side. Anything you do, you will survive with that and give your best. Keep rocking mate..!

  • cheguramana on July 24, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    Can never understand why ABD wanted to keep wicket in the first place. He shud hv kept things simple : become the worlds best batsman. succeed Smith as captain !

  • HatsforBats on July 23, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, thanks, but we knew all that. I guess I don't understand why he was pushed into that position. Again, SA were losing their best fielder and potentially weakening one of the best and most dangerous batsman by pushing him in to keep (with full knowledge of his history of back issues and reluctance to keep).

    Those other batsmen would soon gain their chance soon enough with player retirement and form losses. Meanwhile de Kock was showing glimpses of huge talent.

    And based on his short record since 2012, no, AB would not have been the best keeper/batsman of all time.

  • Greatest_Game on July 23, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    @ HatsforBats on commented "AB being keeper just never made sense to me."

    AB kept for years, all through school, so it was not new to when he took over. Boucher owned the position, but AB was his backup: if Bouch was out, AB kept. It was a huge asset to have a great standby in the squad.

    Replacing Boucher was a question. Tsolekile was & under contract with the squad, but though a good gloveman, his batting is weak. When Boucher's career abruptly ended, the choice was Thami or AB, but AB allowed the team another specialist batsman. AB was VERY reluctant, but Smith & Kirsten pushed, so he stepped up for the team.

    AB clear back in 09 he did not want to return to keeping, but by doing so he made space for other batsmen. Rudolf failed, but Faf, Elgar, & Duminy to an extent, owe their places to him. de Kock finally, if his form holds, gives the team what AB did - a world class batsman/keeper.

    Based on his short record since 2012, AB would have been the best batsman/keeper of all time!

  • HatsforBats on July 23, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    AB being keeper just never made sense to me. He's one of the best fielders in the world and one of the best batsman, it made no sense to burden him with keeping when they have de Kock (clearly a talented batsman and promising keeper) tailor-made to slot in for the next decade. AB the keeper is much easier to replace than AB the predatory in-fielder or reliable slipper.

  • Greatest_Game on July 23, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    Beertjie & StaalBurgher seemed to have noticed a not terribly well disguised theme that others have touched on. In 2009 AB stated emphatically that he did not want to keep, he wanted to bat! But, when Bouch was injured and the title was on the line, he stepped up. And he has kept at it until a skilled enough player, skilled enough to keep the Proteas at the top, could take the role.

    QdK has proven that he can do the job. The kid is now ranked number 11 in ODI batsmen! In his first test keeping he joined the elite 27 to have taken 9 (or more) wickets in a match. Done deal. AB does not have to keep any more. Job well done, AB, let the kid do the work!

    Ironically, AB is actually the most talented keeper of the lot! He really is phenomenal at any role he plays. I wish that years ago he had had the urge to focus on a little spin bowling. Given the way he plays any sport, he'd no doubt have been a little more than "useful."

  • on July 23, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Everybody wants Alviro to be dropped. why? As an opener he is not doing too badly. Who are we going to replace him with. Quinton is the keeper and he still needs to find his feet in the test arena. He will never keep and open in my team. JP must bat before him in any case.

  • on July 23, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Although Thami's batting improved a lot over the years since replacing boucher his batting is not on the same par as Quinton's. His keeping is much better than that of Quinton and Quinton is not a bad keeper. I have seen him drop 2 catches in the proteas team and both from morne morkel. Quinton is young and his ability with the bat is better than that of thami and that's the reason for playing him. His keeping will improve. he is the future of this team along with many other youngsters coming through in the domestic circuit.

  • on July 23, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    Just wondering, can't the keeping duty be shared between QDK and AB? For example, one can keep in the morning session till lunch and the other after that. This way both of them will get ample rest and be fresh for batting, since both of them are superb batsmen, as well as fielders.

    The same thing applies to SL too. Can't Silva and Sangakkara share the keeping duties? or at least till such time Jayawardene returns? Why get a keeper from an England tour??

  • SurlyCynic on July 22, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Whatever happens with AB and the gloves, it remains a good option for the team to have. Despite all the predictions of doom and gloom when he took the gloves (remember the articles predicting it would stop him becoming the #1 batsman) he has been absolutely superb with both gloves and bat. His test batting avg has actually gone up.

    De Kock's keeping needs to keep improving, but he is still young and is a promising batsman. Great keeper-batsmen like Gilchrist and Dhoni were not the best keepers as youngsters but they had the natural batting talent and kept working on their keeping.

  • on July 28, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    AB, you are the person who will walk on the broken glass when the team asked you to do. You are awesome. Keep doing ur good job, whether its keeping batting fielding Captaining the side. Anything you do, you will survive with that and give your best. Keep rocking mate..!

  • cheguramana on July 24, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    Can never understand why ABD wanted to keep wicket in the first place. He shud hv kept things simple : become the worlds best batsman. succeed Smith as captain !

  • HatsforBats on July 23, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    @Greatest_Game, thanks, but we knew all that. I guess I don't understand why he was pushed into that position. Again, SA were losing their best fielder and potentially weakening one of the best and most dangerous batsman by pushing him in to keep (with full knowledge of his history of back issues and reluctance to keep).

    Those other batsmen would soon gain their chance soon enough with player retirement and form losses. Meanwhile de Kock was showing glimpses of huge talent.

    And based on his short record since 2012, no, AB would not have been the best keeper/batsman of all time.

  • Greatest_Game on July 23, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    @ HatsforBats on commented "AB being keeper just never made sense to me."

    AB kept for years, all through school, so it was not new to when he took over. Boucher owned the position, but AB was his backup: if Bouch was out, AB kept. It was a huge asset to have a great standby in the squad.

    Replacing Boucher was a question. Tsolekile was & under contract with the squad, but though a good gloveman, his batting is weak. When Boucher's career abruptly ended, the choice was Thami or AB, but AB allowed the team another specialist batsman. AB was VERY reluctant, but Smith & Kirsten pushed, so he stepped up for the team.

    AB clear back in 09 he did not want to return to keeping, but by doing so he made space for other batsmen. Rudolf failed, but Faf, Elgar, & Duminy to an extent, owe their places to him. de Kock finally, if his form holds, gives the team what AB did - a world class batsman/keeper.

    Based on his short record since 2012, AB would have been the best batsman/keeper of all time!

  • HatsforBats on July 23, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    AB being keeper just never made sense to me. He's one of the best fielders in the world and one of the best batsman, it made no sense to burden him with keeping when they have de Kock (clearly a talented batsman and promising keeper) tailor-made to slot in for the next decade. AB the keeper is much easier to replace than AB the predatory in-fielder or reliable slipper.

  • Greatest_Game on July 23, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    Beertjie & StaalBurgher seemed to have noticed a not terribly well disguised theme that others have touched on. In 2009 AB stated emphatically that he did not want to keep, he wanted to bat! But, when Bouch was injured and the title was on the line, he stepped up. And he has kept at it until a skilled enough player, skilled enough to keep the Proteas at the top, could take the role.

    QdK has proven that he can do the job. The kid is now ranked number 11 in ODI batsmen! In his first test keeping he joined the elite 27 to have taken 9 (or more) wickets in a match. Done deal. AB does not have to keep any more. Job well done, AB, let the kid do the work!

    Ironically, AB is actually the most talented keeper of the lot! He really is phenomenal at any role he plays. I wish that years ago he had had the urge to focus on a little spin bowling. Given the way he plays any sport, he'd no doubt have been a little more than "useful."

  • on July 23, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Everybody wants Alviro to be dropped. why? As an opener he is not doing too badly. Who are we going to replace him with. Quinton is the keeper and he still needs to find his feet in the test arena. He will never keep and open in my team. JP must bat before him in any case.

  • on July 23, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Although Thami's batting improved a lot over the years since replacing boucher his batting is not on the same par as Quinton's. His keeping is much better than that of Quinton and Quinton is not a bad keeper. I have seen him drop 2 catches in the proteas team and both from morne morkel. Quinton is young and his ability with the bat is better than that of thami and that's the reason for playing him. His keeping will improve. he is the future of this team along with many other youngsters coming through in the domestic circuit.

  • on July 23, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    Just wondering, can't the keeping duty be shared between QDK and AB? For example, one can keep in the morning session till lunch and the other after that. This way both of them will get ample rest and be fresh for batting, since both of them are superb batsmen, as well as fielders.

    The same thing applies to SL too. Can't Silva and Sangakkara share the keeping duties? or at least till such time Jayawardene returns? Why get a keeper from an England tour??

  • Beertjie on July 23, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    It's actually been 4 months AB, not 5 or 6 or 7 months, but hey, whose counting? Everyone wanted Quinton in the team as wk-bat and now that it has happened you can spin any story you like!

  • on July 23, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Amla must be kept at 3, AB at 4, FAf at 5, JP and then QDK!

  • Sexysteven on July 23, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    It's good dekock has arrived it means there's no need for ab to keep anymore ab did agood job with the gloves but he's better in the field now dekock is good enough to be in the team as a keeper batsman that takes the pressure off ab and he can focus more on his own batting now and that will help rsa I still think Amla should bat at three ab at four faf at five jp at six dekock seven that would be the order I would prefer them to bat in

  • StaalBurgher on July 23, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    Wow *sarcasm* been saying this since Boucher retired. AB has always had an iffy back. His keeping career was just a time holder for de Kock because SA can't afford to pick Thami in the Test squad.

  • Greatest_Game on July 23, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    @ satishchandar. Years ago Boucher was dropped for Tsolekile. That did not last for long. Basically, Thami has always been on the edge of the team, but he has never been a good enough batsman to warrant a place. He is a good keeper, but these days if your keeper can't bat, you are a batsman down! I do feel for Thami - he is one of those many many sportspeople who got a tiny taste of playing at the highest level, but was never able to savor it.

  • Greatest_Game on July 23, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    @ Cobus Visagie. You are correct it was de Kock's 2nd test, but it was his first keeping, and as the subject of the story is keeping, I think people are referring to this as his first test with the gloves.

  • on July 23, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Who cares, QDK can be the keeper, he's one of the best 7 batsman anyway

  • on July 23, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    #AB u beauty. I like the fact that u don't think u did enough in the 1st test but u are happy with the victory. Outsiders at once thought the battle for captaincy may ruin players' commitment in the team and i'm glad AB laid that thought to bed. I'd like to watch AB&Amla show on thursday.. Goodluck #SA !

  • satishchandar on July 23, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    I do agree ABD giving up test keeping. But however my mind doesn't stop feeling for Tsolekile. He was the standby for ABD all the tours where ABD was the keeper. Thammi gets dropped for a tour and ABD decides to don the gloves to the reserve keeper. What an irony. I would feel depreived of my deserved chance if i was Thammi. Hard luck mate.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 22, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Batting line up needs tweaking still. I would like to see AB bat at 3 and Amla at 4. Faff can bat at 5 and has been very lucky to be given that spot (3). AB has made it publicly known that he wants to bat 3 in all formats. Amla is fine at 4 as he is captaining.

    Hope SA debut Dane Piedt for 2nd Test. Such a shame this isnt a 3 match series, SCC and CSA- what are you doing?

  • SripriyaReddy on July 22, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    Great news for AB's fans but doesn't sound too good for AB himself. Like he said, he loves being in the game All The Time in whatever way possible. Hardly find such cricketers these days. It's truly a blessing for cricket fans to watch sportsperson like AB play. I might be wrong in saying this but, I don't think this guy has any haters from around the world. True class he is.

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    SA is packed from some greats on current era. AB, Amla, Steyn (they are amazing). Unfortunately SL is having only 1 - Sanga.

    If SA will pull off another victory, it would not be surprising.

  • Proteas_Supporter on July 22, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Great! AB is a great batsman. Check Sangakkara's record as a batsman in Tests after he quit WK, 40 as WK and 70 as not WK. Both Amla & AB's Test avg is slightly above 50, it should be around 56-58. Hopefully they get there quickly. Even though AB's avg as WK is quite high but I feel Keeping is a burden to him and will affect his batting in the long run.

    QDK was impressive in the 1st Test barring that drop of Sanga. He needs to work on his WK skills though. and in batting he gives lots of chances (reminds me of AB during his early days). AB has improved hopefully QDK will improve too.

    As everyone here feels, AB is best suited at 4. Amla at his usual position 3, Faf at 5, QDK at 6 and JP at 7. This should be the batting order. Alviro is walking on thin ice, so is Imran Tahir. Van Zyl & Piedt are knocking the doors!

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    Very good news, more freedom for AB and we can see more of young De Kock. Just a correction it was De Kock's second test, the first did not go so well.al we need is Piedt for Tahir

  • Kingman75 on July 22, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    At least this puts to bed any argument that AB could have been a great wicketkeeper batsmen in the mould of Gilchrist. No true wicketkeeper has this conversation like AB is having now. A true keeper batsmen never lets anyone take the gloves away from him. AB is like Sanga, a batsmen who can keep. Huge difference.

  • MCC_Tie on July 22, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    de Kock is a serious talent but those suggesting he open are far from the mark. It is unrealistic for a keeper to open in Tests. Imagine keeping for 100 overs then strapping on pads and walking right back out to the middle. Madness! QdK will be SA's Gilly and if he comes even close to that, we're on excellent footing for many a year to come.

  • vatsap on July 22, 2014, 15:48 GMT

    Surprised that AB loves keeping so much. I have always enjoyed his out fielding and as a fan miss that big time when he keeps. Thought it would be a good move to get De'Kock as the wicketkeeper.

    Also so happy to see that AB has so many fans world wide. He is surely one of the most loved cricketers at present.

  • aby_97 on July 22, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    De Kock should open in place of ALviro Pieterson.He would be a very aggressive opener.Given that he is not a great player of spin, it would be more favourable for him to face then non threatening seamers of Sri Lanka.

  • on July 22, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    If I was a SA Selecter then I'd have De Kock in the team as a opener and bonus is he is a keeper too , so it's a win on both situations. He is a great young talent.

  • Greatest_Game on July 22, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    It is difficult to make any claim that de Kock should not slot in as keeper - not when in his 1st test he becomes one of an elite 23 who have taken 9 wickets in a match. Two players have take 10 in a match, & two - Jack Russel & AB de Villiers - have taken 11, the all-time record. Not a bad effort by de Kock for his 1st test!!

    There will be those who scream & shout about Tsilekile, but the simple fact is that if de Kock is prevented from taking the gloves, AB will go on keeping for a few matches, until the shouting stops. No way are, or should, the Proteas play a 2nd rate keeper batsman - for any reason. A keeper's batting is critical to today's teams, & de Kock has proven that he could make the test team on batting ability alone.

    The player who should be dropped is Alviro Petersen. He is simply not doing the job, and has not been doing to for so long that his time has run out.

  • MrGarreth on July 22, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    Super stuff. Still hoping he'll move to number 4 at some stage. Can you think of many of the great batsmen of the last generation who have batted lower than 4? Lara, Ponting, Tendulkar, Kallis, Sangakkara, Dravid etc. It just doesn't make sense for him to be at 5 when he hands over the gloves. Amla 3, de Villiers 4 and then i'd love to see teams having a go at running through that combination. Faf is good he just can't justify a place above those 2 is all. Faf to Five (got a nice ring too). De Kock will do well at 6. He does need some work with Bouch on cupping the hands when diving and not going goalkeeper-style with the palms facing. Otherwise his keeping is pretty sound. Thoroughly impressed with his work to the spinners. 9 dismissals in your first match as keeper with some runs to boot. Onwards and upwards say I!

  • proteasfire on July 22, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    Great decision from AB. With a youngster like Quinton filling the keeping duties there is no reason for AB to don the gloves again. He can focus solely on his batting now and contribute successful scores for SA. Alviro Petersen hasnt scored meaningful runs recently. Its time to throw him out and get Van Zyl in his place. Rest of the SA squad looks strong.

  • MCC_Tie on July 22, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    This is superb news for everyone who loves cricket. An unburdened AB could take his batting to the next level... a scary thought considering he is already the world's best Test AND ODI batsman.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 22, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    Best news I have heard all day. AB is too valuable as a batsman to be crouching for 7 hours a day behind the stumps, especially with known back problems. Furthermore, it gives us the viewing pleasure of seeing an young, promising attacking batsman like Quinton de Kock get his time in the limelight and come through the ranks.

  • BellCurve on July 22, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    I just hope the Thami Tsolekile debate will not be reponed. Thami scored 47 runs and effected 6 dismissals in 3 Tests. De Kock scored 87 runs and effected 9 dismissals in 1 Test. Every single objective measure points in De Kock's direction. Thami's had his opportunity and didn't use it. I just hope and trust that the subjective crowd will not get their way.

  • London_Meistry on July 22, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Best news in a very long time. This has been long time coming. I am in favour of transformation and I would like to see players of colour making it to the Test side but ONLY on merit and not by political influence and or by quota system. Quinton de Kock has proven himself that he can do the job. He has shown maturity behind the stumps and he needs no word on him with the bat in hand, the Indians know him best. Now we need to be flexible in terms of our squad selection. On spinning tracks, leave out Phillander and on seaming tracks he should be an automatic inclusion. We need to use this Piet boy!

  • jimmyvida on July 22, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Whatever AB does in cricket turns to gold.

  • on July 22, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    I feel sorry for stiaan, but his time will come. I predicted him playing for SA just as with most of the current players. Lets hope that when his opportunity arrives he makes it count. Good luck for the final game. You lads can make it.

  • on July 22, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    At least he's one of the few who admits it's "payback time". It's become quite boring for folks to say "we're not looking it as a revenge series" or "we don't think too much about the past", etc.

  • CricketChat on July 22, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Sensible decision. ABD is too valuable to the team to risk him with wkt keeping.

  • ZainE111 on July 22, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Quite possibly the most talented sportsman of his time. AB excels at anything he puts his mind to. The man is sheer class.

  • Cric-Aus-SL on July 22, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    SA management has decided not to give De villiers due to his work load with the wicket keeping. But now, It seems ABD sends management a message that he won't be no more a scapegoat for the sake of the team, unless you give him whatever he deserves(test captaincy), Fair-decission

  • on July 22, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    s it is time to get away from keeping for ab

  • on July 22, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    s it is time to get away from keeping for ab

  • Cric-Aus-SL on July 22, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    SA management has decided not to give De villiers due to his work load with the wicket keeping. But now, It seems ABD sends management a message that he won't be no more a scapegoat for the sake of the team, unless you give him whatever he deserves(test captaincy), Fair-decission

  • ZainE111 on July 22, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Quite possibly the most talented sportsman of his time. AB excels at anything he puts his mind to. The man is sheer class.

  • CricketChat on July 22, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Sensible decision. ABD is too valuable to the team to risk him with wkt keeping.

  • on July 22, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    At least he's one of the few who admits it's "payback time". It's become quite boring for folks to say "we're not looking it as a revenge series" or "we don't think too much about the past", etc.

  • on July 22, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    I feel sorry for stiaan, but his time will come. I predicted him playing for SA just as with most of the current players. Lets hope that when his opportunity arrives he makes it count. Good luck for the final game. You lads can make it.

  • jimmyvida on July 22, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Whatever AB does in cricket turns to gold.

  • London_Meistry on July 22, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Best news in a very long time. This has been long time coming. I am in favour of transformation and I would like to see players of colour making it to the Test side but ONLY on merit and not by political influence and or by quota system. Quinton de Kock has proven himself that he can do the job. He has shown maturity behind the stumps and he needs no word on him with the bat in hand, the Indians know him best. Now we need to be flexible in terms of our squad selection. On spinning tracks, leave out Phillander and on seaming tracks he should be an automatic inclusion. We need to use this Piet boy!

  • BellCurve on July 22, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    I just hope the Thami Tsolekile debate will not be reponed. Thami scored 47 runs and effected 6 dismissals in 3 Tests. De Kock scored 87 runs and effected 9 dismissals in 1 Test. Every single objective measure points in De Kock's direction. Thami's had his opportunity and didn't use it. I just hope and trust that the subjective crowd will not get their way.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 22, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    Best news I have heard all day. AB is too valuable as a batsman to be crouching for 7 hours a day behind the stumps, especially with known back problems. Furthermore, it gives us the viewing pleasure of seeing an young, promising attacking batsman like Quinton de Kock get his time in the limelight and come through the ranks.