Smith keen for AB’s return

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

Cape Town - Australian captain Steve Smith is eager to see star batsman AB de Villiers back in Proteas squad for upcoming ODI and Test series.

Smith spoke to the media ahead of Australia’s ODI match against Ireland, saying that his side would like to play against a South African side boasting the team's No 1 ODI batsman - De Villiers.

De Villiers picked up a left elbow injury while playing for Barbados in the CPL, which ruled him out of the New Zealand Test series and Irish ODI game.

De Villiers will undergo a fitness test on Tuesday to determine whether he will go for surgery or not, and whether he’ll miss the ODI and Test series against Australia.

Smith was asked how the Australians felt about De Villiers' doubt over the series, saying: "I'm not sure with AB on how it (the injury) goes, but from our point of view, we want to be playing against the best players and he’s one of the best players in the world.

"It would be great to see him playing and to come up against him," Smith said.

Smith said that heavy workload is somewhat of a common occurrence for international players nowadays: "I know our schedule’s very busy and it’s probably more a mental freshen up that you need.

"I think playing day in, day out and so much cricket... it affects you mentally and it’s about being fresh and being mentally switched on as much as possible, as well as the physical side of things,” he said.

Smith left many baffled and was mocked for leaving halfway through Australia's tour to Sri Lanka, as he wanted to rest ahead of the tour to South Africa, which was more than a month away. David Warner stepped in as interim skipper for the remainder of the ODI tour, which Australia won 4-1.

South Africa take on Australia in the first ODI on Friday, September 30 in Centurion.

The Proteas then fly down to Australia to play in a three-match Test series, starting on November 3.

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England 161/7 (57.4 ov)
Pakistan 326
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England 161/7 (57.4 ov)
Pakistan 326
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