Proteas boosted by AB's return

AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas have been boosted by the return of AB de Villiers for the third series-deciding T20 International against Sri Lanka at Newlands on Wednesday.

De Villiers last played for the Proteas in the triangular series in the West Indies in June and returns for his first competitive match after making a full recovery following elbow surgery in August. 

Captain, Farhaan Behardien, says De Villiers’ experience and skill will be invaluable for the crucial must-win match. He also hinted at the possibility of giving opportunities to Reeza Hendricks and Dane Paterson, the only players in the squad who have yet to feature in the series.  

“I think AB comes into the selection for tomorrow, we just have to have a look at that pitch again for tomorrow, we are going to finalise the team a bit later,” he said in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“He (De Villiers) is one of the best,” he added. “He is one of the best T20 players in the world, best batters in the world, not just for T20, but ODIs and Tests. He has been out for such a long time, he came back in his warm-up game with 130 not out, he is quite keen to be back and he is quite hungry for cricket after about six months off, it is unbelievable to have him back.”

The series is deadlocked at 1-1, and is poised for a thrilling finish at a sold-out Newlands stadium. Behardien says the squad is not under any extra pressure with the match being a ‘final’, but expressed confidence in his squad to perform under the pressures of the occasion.  

“It is always a special place to play cricket here at Newlands,” he said. “The crowd is amazing and it generally produces some good cricket, the last couple of summers we’ve had very awesome games here. The guys enjoy Cape Town, people are friendly, there’s good food here in Cape Town, mom’s food, it’s a special place in my heart definitely.”

The match is scheduled to start at 18:00 local time.

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