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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: AB de Villiers to undergo a late fitness test ahead of India game

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 22: AB de Villiers of South Africa reacting during game two of the One Day International series between New Zealand and South Africa at Hagley Oval on February 22, 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand.  (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
Injury concerns might eliminate AB de Villiers from South Africa vs India
Rupin Kale
Modified 09 Jun 2017, 14:27 IST

What’s the story?

AB de Villiers is set to undergo a late fitness test to determine the aftermath of his hamstring injury ahead of South Africa’s tacit Champions Trophy quarter-final against India this Sunday (June 11). Cricket South Africa has asserted to the same, saying that the South African skipper will go through the test on Saturday. 

The 33-year-old is a crucial component of the South African batting line-up and his availability might also become the deciding factor in the eventual outcome of the match. Losing the match will mean a direct knock-out and winning it will mean going straight to the semi-finals.

In case you didn’t know...

The man captaining the South African side pulled his hamstring in the match against Pakistan on Wednesday (June 7). He was seen limping off the field, but made a return soon afterwards, to the relief of his fans. 

De Villiers has not clicked with the bat as of yet in this year’s Champions Trophy, returning to the pavilion with scores of 4 and 0 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in previous group games. 

The details 

The 33-year-old’s injury woes this year go back to his shoulder troubles before the start of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.

Talking about his hamstring right after the Pakistan game, the batsman did say that it felt okay but would confirm regarding the same after undergoing the necessary scans and tests that follow.


What next?

De Villiers is not just a marquee batsman of the side but also its captain. Him getting ruled out due to injury will throw South Africa’s entire game plan into a tailspin. The captaincy will be taken up by the current vice-captain of the team, Faf du Plessis. 

Farhaan Behardien is most likely to replace de Villiers in the playing XI against the Virat-Kohli led men in case the latter is not fit. Keshav Maharaj might also get a chance to play his third international ODI on Sunday. 

Author’s take 

There is no point in discussing de Villiers availability or the lack thereof before the results are out from the imperative fitness test. However, it is safe to say that South Africa’s chances of making the semi-final will suffer a deep dent if their captain is unable to take guard against India in the crucial game.

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Published 09 Jun 2017, 14:22 IST
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