Just ahead of the upcoming series against India, South Africa have suffered a huge suffered a huge blow as their star batsman AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the first three One-Day Internationals (ODI) against India due to a finger injury.
The former South Africa skipper sustained the injury to his right index finger during the recently-concluded third Test match against India and will remain on the sidelines for up to two weeks to make a full recovery. According to reports, Cricket South Africa (CSA) medical team is hopeful De Villiers will recover in time for the fourth ODI, scheduled to be played at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday, February 10. The selectors have opted not to name a replacement.
Missing de Villiers will be a huge blow for the hosts who can concede the number one rankings to Virat Kohli & Co. De Villiers, who had score his career-best 176 in October last year against Bangladesh, was in fine form during the Test series against India. He was South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the series, scoring 211 runs in three games with the help of two half-centuries to help the hosts beat the world number one Test side.
India, who are yet to lose a ODI series under Kohli’s captaincy, can leapfrog South Africa and become the number one ODI side if they win the six-match series 4-2 or better. On the other hand, the Proteas will have to just draw the series to remain atop the rankings.
Meanwhile, the six-match series will kick start on Thursday (February 1) in Durban. The ODI series will be followed by three-match T20 International series. The hosts won the three-match Test series 2-1 but the momentum is with India who won the last Test by 63 runs.