AB de Villiers has turned down the wicketkeeper duties for the Royal Challengers Bangalore for this season’s IPL campaign.
De Villiers missed the One Day Cup final, due to a back injury which kept him out of the opening IPL clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
With doubt over him playing in RCB’s next clash, AB has ruled out the option of keeping wicket, going as far as blaming his prior wicketkeeper experience as the reason for his back issues.
Despite KL Rahul being ruled out for this season IPL, De Villiers has declined to replace him as wicketkeeper.
‘I will definitely not consider wicketkeeping,’ De Villiers told reporters in Bangalore.
‘I’ll miss the next five years if I start keeping again. My back won’t allow that. My back is sore because of all those years of keeping.’
He will undergo a late fitness test to determine his fitness for the clash against the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.
‘Even though I’m very very keen to get on the field, I’ll make sure that I’m 100% fit.
‘Because, if you go on the park and you’re 90%, you might be out for longer anyway. It doesn’t make sense. I am going to test it [the back] out this afternoon. We’ve got a nets session. I’ll hit a couple of balls, see what it feels like, and then we’ll make a call.’
De Villiers has full confidence that Kohli will hit back hard on his return from injury, after a disappointing Test series against Australia.
‘I think it has been an amazing journey to watch him grow as a leader. I think, at the start, when the people mentioned to me he has leadership qualities and might become a captain one day, I doubted it.
‘I thought he was emotional with his reactions. [Now] I think he has found a way to deal with it. He has shown he has skills with his captaincy and he has taken all the doubters and showed them he can conquer anything.
‘He did not have the best of series with bat in hand in the last series [against Australia], but what stood out for me was his leadership. He led from the front and that showed. I think that’s the greatest test for a captain – when you don’t do well personally and how you come through as a captain. He came through with flying colours.’