AB de Villiers informed Proteas Test skipper Faf du Plessis that he’s not keen to play Test matches again.
With just one player scoring a century from the Proteas’ last seven Tests, the big scores have been lacking from South Africa’s top order. It’s prompted calls, once again, for AB de Villiers to make a return to the Test side.
In the past, De Villiers has expressed his desire to return for the Tests against India at the end of the year, and with the home Australia series following swiftly after that there’s plenty of important Test cricket to be played in the next few months.
If he does indeed stick to his aim to return, it will be a much-needed boost to a side lacking in consistency, with Hashim Amla the only player in the top six averaging above 40 in the recently-concluded Test series.
Du Plessis, speaking at Cape Town international airport upon the Proteas’ arrival back to South Africa, crushed those aims with the news that De Villiers has told him he wasn’t keen on playing any more Tests.
‘The last time I spoke to him, he wasn’t keen to play yet again,’ Du Plessis said. ‘So from my point of view I’m not expecting him to come back.
‘Whether we win or lose people always want AB to play, because he is the best player in the team.
‘But we’ve played a year and a half without him. I hope that he comes back and plays, but I’m not expecting him to, and I’m preparing to look ahead without him.
‘I need to try and get it out there that people must expect that it’s probably not going to happen. We don’t want to lie about it. If he’s not coming back, then he’s not coming back, but I can’t make that decision for AB.’
Du Plessis was quick to sympathise with De Villiers, however, given the amount he’s already achieved for the side. Now that Du Plessis has started a young family of his own, he’s realising the difficult decisions that come with balancing career with family.
‘AB has earned the right to do whatever he wants to,’ said the Test skipper. ‘He’s played 100 Tests, he’s played away from home from 12 years. He’s done everything he could possibly achieve, apart from winning the World Cup.
‘He just wants to spend more time with his family. That’s AB’s only reason.’