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India vs South Africa: AB De Villiers Cleared to Play Johannesburg ODI

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 10, 2018, 8:20 AM IST
India vs South Africa: AB De Villiers Cleared to Play Johannesburg ODI

File image of AB de Villiers . (Getty Images)

New Delhi: Finally some good news for the hosts as stalwart AB De Villiers has been declared fit to play the fourth ODI between South Africa and India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Earlier, on Thursday , De Villiers was included into the 15-man squad for the final three ODIs after he missed the first three due to injury. However, there was still some doubts regarding him being in the playing XI for the fourth ODI and the decision to play him was supposed to be taken only after the training on the eve of the match.

According to reports, De Villiers was seen hitting the balls in the nets on Friday and showed no signs of discomfort. ABD's return has come at the right time for the hosts as they look to stay alive in the series. Although India have already taken a 3-0 lead, if the Proteas manage to win the next three, they will draw the series and keep their unbeaten run going against the 'Men in Blue' at home.

All-rounder Chris Morris heaped praise on De Villiers during the press conference on the eve of the clash and said that the star batsman brings a lot to the team both on and off the pitch.

"AB is AB. Apart from what he brings on the field, it's what he brings off the field. He brings that calmness, he brings that experience. To have a world-class player come back and play for South Africa is a special, special occasion," Morris said.

"It's a special moment for me as I quite enjoy sharing the field with him. It's a special occasion every time I walk on to the field with AB because to me he is - if not the best - one of the best players in the world and one of the best players to play for South Africa ever. But to the team, he brings so much more than runs, he brings AB de Villiers. The AB de Villiers factor, let's put it that way," he added.

The hosts have been going through a horror time with respect to injuries as they have missed the services of big players like De Villiers (missed first three), Faf Du Plessis (missed second and third) and Quinton de Kock (missed third). Du Plessis and De Kock have been ruled out of the entire ODI series and T20I series as well.

The Proteas missed the maverick batting style of De Villiers a great deal as the middle order have been simply run over by India's spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. In the first ODI, regular skipper Du Plessis slammed a century in an otherwise disappointing batting performance from the hosts. While in the second and third ODIs, they were dismissed for 118 an 179 respectively, enroute to massive defeats.

In three ODIs, Kuldeep and Chahal have accounted for 21 wickets and have given just 190 runs in the process and have been the main reason why South African batting has failed so miserably. Morris felt that with De Villiers returning into the squad, the batsmen will get a few tips as to how to tackle the Indian tweakers.

"Look AB has always got inputs, doesn't matter if it's spin, seam, behind the back. It doesn't matter what inputs he's got, it's always good. I'm sure AB will have a few pointers for the guys on how to handle spin and how to play spin, maybe a few different attacking options but like I said, it doesn't matter what advice because he's got advice for everything and it's always solid. When AB talks, you listen because it's always helpful," Morris said.

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First Published: February 10, 2018, 8:15 AM IST

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4 New Zealand 2354 102
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