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5 reasons why AB de Villiers must retire from Tests

AB de Villiers has had a brilliant career, but injuries have taken a toll on his body.

CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 23:  AB de Villiers of South Africa walks off at close of play during day two of the 4th Test at Supersport Park on January 23, 2016 in Centurion, South Africa.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
de Villiers has been the most important player for South Africa in the last decade

Ever imagined the words AB de Villiers and retirement being used in the same sentence? It is difficult, right?  No player takes up a sport with an aim to play forever. At some point, the end does arrive.

Maybe, it’s time for de Villiers, who has scored 8,074 runs in 106 Tests averaging 50.46, to make a brave call. The tremendous amount of cricket in a calendar year has taken a toll on his fitness.

He is 32 and sure is running out of time, but an important task is still not checked off his list – a World Cup win. The tournament is two years away and it will be a challenge for the South African to remain fit. In order to do so, he must cut down the number of matches he plays in a year.

Since he has been excelling in the shorter formats, giving up on the longest format looks feasible. He has always been a team man who wants to play every game for South Africa. Which is why it is understandable that retiring from Tests will not be an easy choice. 

Here are the 5 reasons why de Villiers should retire from Tests.


#1 Injuries might wreck his World Cup plan

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24:  AB de Villiers of South Africa looks on during the 2015 Cricket World Cup Semi Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park on March 24, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
The World Cup could be the icing on the cake of de Villiers’ career

The international cricket schedule is incredibly punishing; it includes hours of training, media interactions and most importantly, it keeps the players away from home for almost 10 months in a year. With the amount of international cricket that players are expected to play these days, a player tends to get exhausted. With so much cricket in store in a year, the risk of sustaining injuries also increases.

de Villiers has barely missed a Test for South Africa in his decade-long career. However, his resistance was broken last year. He suffered an impingement syndrome injury in 2016, which has caused excruciating pain for the Proteas batsman in the left elbow. It is supposed to settle after it is taken care of but sadly in AB’s case, it has been still troubling him.

He sustained the elbow injury during the Caribbean Premier League 2016, following which he went on to miss Test series’ against Sri Lanka, Australia, and New Zealand.

The explosive batsman’s only aim, for now, is lifting the World Cup trophy for South Africa in 2019. There is still two years to go for the tournament and it is not wrong to assume that if de Villiers does not retire from Tests, the selectors will select him in the Test squad at some point in time, leaving him with no option but to play.

With a dodgy elbow, it is best for him to cut down his tough schedule in order to remain fresh in the World Cup.

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