Trailing the 6-match ODI series against India 0-3 after the conclusion of the first three matches, South Africa have the best possible news ahead of the 4th ODI. Star batsman AB de Villiers, who didn’t feature in any of the 50-over matches before, has marked his return in the squad. While De Villiers absence from half of the ODI series was known before the start of series, injuries for Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock further stretched the team to maximum.
De Villiers had sustained an injury to his right index finger during the third and final Test match against India but now has been included in the team’s provisional 15-man squad. Whether he features in the 4th ODI or not will only be decided after the practice session on Friday.
While the right-hander’s return doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the hosts will bounce back with a win in Johannesburg, what it does assure is that the margins of defeat wouldn’t be similar to the previous three matches.
South Africa are in a must-win situation at the Wanderers in order to prevent themselves from losing the series. The match will be played in pink, as a part of a campaign for breast cancer awareness by the Proteas. Another interesting fact is that South Africa have never lost in that colour. De Villiers has performed particularly well in pink and famously has the record of scoring the fastest hundred in ODI history at the Wanderers against West Indies three years ago in the same colour shirt.
“I think every cricketer has been through this at some point in their career (injury). We’re looking forward to the fourth ODI and having AB (de Villiers) back is going to be a massive boost,” JP Duminy had said in the press conference after the third ODI.
“He is one of the world’s best players in one-day cricket. He will bring confidence to the team and his leadership within the group will add a lot of value as well,” he added.
South African squad:
Aiden Markram (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khaya Zondo.