Thu, 06 May 2021

  • Proteas coach Mark Boucher said he is in conversation with superstar AB de Villiers regarding his availability for the T20 World Cup in India later this year.
  • De Villiers retired from international duty in 2018, but has featured for South Africa in every T20 World Cup.
  • While De Villiers is a dangerous batsman, his T20 numbers are unflattering.

Proteas coach Mark Boucher has given every indication that superstar batsman AB de Villiers could still be central to his T20 World Cup plans.

The 37-year-old De Villers, who announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018, is currently plying his trade with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

De Villiers has played in both of RCB's matches, making 48 in the opening game they won by two wickets against the Mumbai Indians.

He made 1 in Wednesday's six-run win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad where he was snared by the excellent Rashid Khan.

Boucher said he spoke to De Villiers before he went to the IPL and said he'll communicate with him again before the end of the tournament.

"I haven't had a conversation with him of late, but I did chat to him before he went to the IPL and the conversation is still open. With AB being the person he is, he wants to perform in the IPL to prove to himself and everyone that he's a key figure in world cricket," Boucher said.

"I said to him that he must go and do his thing and I'll give him a shout at the back end of the IPL and we'll see where we are."

READ | Proteas coach Mark Boucher explains continued Kyle Verreynne omission

While De Villiers may also benefit from enlarged squads because of the Covid-19 pandemic that limits travelling between countries, the T20 World Cup could be his last opportunity to clean up what is a blotted tournament copybook.

De Villiers, who has featured in every shortest-format World Cup since 2007, has only made 717 in 30 matches and 29 innings at an average of 29.87 with five 50s and a highest of 79*.

His tournament numbers are slightly higher than his rather average career T20 numbers, with his 75 innings in 78 matches only realising 1 672 runs at an average of 26.12 with 10 50s.

Source: News24

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