In a much-needed boost for the beleaguered South Africa, their star batsman AB de Villiers has returned to the squad for the last three one-day internationals against India. However, there are still doubts over his availability for the fourth match at the Wanderers on Saturday (February 10).
The former Proteas skipper had missed the first three games of the series due to a finger injury. In his absence, the hosts were completely outplayed by the high-flying Indians. The visitors won the first ODI by six wickets. Chasing 269, India reached the target inside 46 overs. In the following game, they bundled out South Africa for just 118 runs before chasing it down by losing just one wicket. The juggernaut continued in the third ODI too.
Riding on skipper Kohli’s brilliant knock of 160 not out, the Men in Blue posted a massive 303 for 6. In reply, the hosts were all out for just 179.
With South Africa now just one loss away from losing first-ever bilateral ODI series at home against India, de Villiers’ return will act as a huge confidence booster. South Africa batsmen have looked totally clueless against India’s twin spin threat of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The pair have taken 21 wickets in the series at a stunning average of 9.05.
“Having AB back is going to be a massive boost”
Speaking after the loss in the third ODI, JP Duminy had said de Villiers’ return will be a big boost. Duminy had also said the former skipper would bring leadership to the team. South Africa are without their regular skipper Faf du Plessis. Du Plessis played the series-opener but was then ruled out of the remainder of the series.
“Having AB back is going to be a massive boost,” JP Duminy had said. “He’s one of the world’s best players in one-day cricket. He will bring confidence to the team and his leadership within the group will add a lot of value as well.”
Meanwhile, de Villiers’s addition was the only change to South Africa’s squad. The fourth game of the series will be played on February 10 in Johannesburg.
South Africa squad for last three ODIs:
Aiden Markram (c), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khayelihle Zondo, Farhaan Behardien.
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