AB de Villiers expected to be fit for fourth ODI
What's the story?
AB de Villiers' decision to play golf at the Pretoria Country Club earlier this week might not have gone down well with Cricket South Africa (CSA) but the head of the CSA medical committee Dr. Shuaib Manjra believes that it is a positive sign for South Africa.
The South African batsman is currently suffering from a finger injury and Dr. Manjra spoke about the general protocol with respect to injured players.
“Golf is very different to cricket and his injury is healing. If he could play 18 rounds of golf, without complaining of pain, it’s a positive sign for us,” he told Sportstar.
“Once you have got an injury and you are out of the squad, you will be on your own with your franchise. You will be free to pursue any other activity you would like to, but obviously, we would appreciate not engaging in any activity as it is risky.”
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The former South African captain injured his right index finger while trying to go for a catch to dismiss Virat Kohli in the third Test at Johannesburg. He was ruled out of the first three ODIs and since then Faf du Plessis, who scored a century in the first ODI, has also been ruled out of the remainder of the limited-overs series.
The heart of the matter
The 33-year-old has 1295 runs in 29 ODIs at an average of 51.80, with six hundreds and five fifties against India, and his injury is a big blow for South Africa. However, Dr. Manjra added that they are doing their best to get him fit for the fourth ODI (pink ODI) on February 10.
“We expect him to return in probably two weeks time, but we are also going to take it as it comes. A decision will be made closer to the fourth ODI. He clearly won’t be ready for the ODI in Cape Town on Wednesday, but we will try to get him ready for the pink ODI,” he added.
South Africa will be hoping that their star batsman is available for the fourth ODI, which could well prove to be a series decider.
In a series that has been marred by injuries, the Proteas will be hoping that de Villiers can make a swift recovery and return to the squad. Already without du Plessis for the remainder of the tour, the hosts can use all the experience they can get, especially against two in-form wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who both registered their career-best ODI figures, in the first and second ODIs respectively.