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Sun Jun 26 19:13:07 SAST 2016

Aussies lay plans for AB ahead of T20 series

Khanyiso Tshwaku | 01 March, 2016 00:27
AB de Villiers of the Proteas during the 2nd T20 International match between South African and England at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on February 21, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image by: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

After enduring a lean spell against Stuart Broad & Co during the Test series against England, AB de Villiers found his feet towards the end of the ODI series and exploded into pyrotechnics in the T20s.

Thus, in the three upcoming T20s, Australian captain Steve Smith has the difficult task of keeping De Villiers on a leash.

Said Smith: "It's very difficult to contain him because he's one of the most destructive, if not the most destructive, batsman in the world and he does hit the ball 360 degrees.

"Once he gets going, he's pretty hard to stop. We'll have a few plans in place that'll hopefully work, but he's a terrific player who's very hard to stop," Smith said.

Even with lucrative domestic T20 leagues sprouting with each passing season, there's still a sense that the T20 is a format struggling to gain clout internationally.

Though the three-match T20 series between South Africa and Australia should be hyped as a clash of titans, many see the games as little more than glorified warm-ups.

Said Smith: "It's about playing some T20 cricket together because that's something we haven't done regularly over the last couple of years. It's a great opportunity for us to try and gel as a unit before the World Cup.

"Hopefully the South African curators can make the pitches a bit slow with a bit of turn because that'll benefit both sides. Let's see what happens over the next three games."

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