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AB in the pink for Wanderers ODI

09 February 2018 - 13:48 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
AB de Villiers during the Momentum ODI Pink Day Launch at Bidvest Wanderers on January 18, 2018 in Johannesburg.
AB de Villiers during the Momentum ODI Pink Day Launch at Bidvest Wanderers on January 18, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Proteas batting mainstay AB de Villiers has been cleared to play in the Pink ODI against India at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.

De Villiers‚ who missed the first three matches because of the finger injury he sustained in the third Test against India last month‚ hit the ball in the nets at the Bullring on Friday morning and he showed no signs of discomfort.

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson is still without influential captain Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock‚ who are nursing respective injuries and De Villiers’ availability comes at the right time for the Proteas who are desperate for a win as they are 3-0 down in the six-match series.

Speaking as South Africa wrapped up their preparations for the seventh Pink ODI‚ where they have won all the previous six‚ all-rounder Chris Morris said De Villiers’s inclusion will help lift the team a team under pressure.

“AB is AB. Apart from what he brings on the field‚ it is what he brings off it‚” Morris said.

“He brings the calmness and he brings the experience. To have a world-class player coming back to our team is good news and personally I enjoy sharing the field with him.”

Morris said that former captain De Cilliars will also be able to impart valuable pointers on how to play the devastating Indian wrist spinners‚ who have wreaked havoc in the three ODIs.

“To me he is‚ if not one of the best players in the world‚ then to have played for South Africa.

“He brings so much more than just runs‚ but the AD de Villiers factor. He is good to go and he will definitely give impetus with regards to spin or seam.

“I am sure he will have a few pointers to the guys on how to handle and play spin and a few attacking options. His advice is always solid and when he speaks you listen because it is always helpful and his advice is always good.”

With the Proteas having lost the first three matches‚ Morris dismissed suggestions that De Villiers will be put under pressure to carry the team for their first win in this series.

“At the moment we are all under pressure because we are 3-0 down in this series. I don’t think he will feel any added pressure – he is just going to come and be himself.

“He is a dangerous player and it is exciting to see how he is going to come out.

“We know we have under-performed but we are all dying to put up a good performance.”