AB de Villiers has set his sights on a Test return as he prepares to take part in a three-day match for the South African Invitation XI against Zimbabwe.
His aim will be to play in the inaugural four-day day-night Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe, but first up the 33-year-old would like to have a run for the SA Invitational XI, who will play a warm-up match against Zimbabwe in Paarl from 20-22 December.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, De Villiers revealed that a Test return is on the cards, and that he is willing to fight for a place in the Test side.
‘I’ve had time at home to get fresh, time to work on my body, and time to work on skills I’ve not worked on for many years,’ De Villiers said.
‘I’ve sort of rediscovered that love of the game. I’ve not had an off-season where I’ve gone to nets to work on my skills and technique for ages. Last year, in the peak of the season, I was less ready for Test cricket than I am now.’
His last Test was against England in January 2016, and it has not been certain whether the longest format was still of interest for De Villiers. He did, however, show intent of playing in the longer format when he represented the Titans in a first-class game against the Warriors in October, and believes he needs more game time before he is Test-ready.
The three-day match would be the perfect platform for him to get himself on track.
‘It will be nice to go out there and spend some time on my legs. Form-wise I feel ready, but it’s important to stand in the field for a while and hopefully get a long knock,’ he concluded.
South Africa’s convener of selectors, Linda Zondi, confirmed that a plan is in place to bring De Villiers back into the national Test setup.
‘We’d like to get him back in whites as soon as possible, and we have some plans in place. There’s the practice match, which will be good for him,’ he said. ‘For us as selectors, it’s about getting him into the squad and then it will be worked out from there. It’s a nice problem to have.’
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