SA needs to move on from de Vil­liers, says du Plessis

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS - Cricinfo

Manchester, UK – A B de Vil­liers is un­likely to play Test cricket for South Africa again and it needs to ac­cept that, ac­cord­ing to its captain, Faf du Plessis.

In the af­ter­math of its 1-3 se­ries de­feat in Eng­land, where bat­ting col­lapses were a sig­nif­i­cant cause of South Africa's in­abil­ity to com­pete, du Plessis ad­mit­ted their prob­lems can­not be solved by wait­ing on de Vil­liers to make a come­back be­cause that may not hap­pen.

"I would love AB to play - we all know how good he is and we missed him, but we've spent too much time talk­ing about when he is go­ing to come back.

“The hope of him com­ing back is some­thing we need to move past, we need to find some­one else to ful­fill that role. If AB comes back it's a huge bonus but I don't ex­pect him to come back into the Test team," du Plessis said.

De Vil­liers' last Test was 19 months ago against Eng­land in Johannesburg, when he was stand-in captain fol­low­ing Hashim Amla's res­ig­na­tion.

Since then, de Vil­liers had been con­firmed per­ma­nent leader but had to sit out what would have been in first se­ries in charge - against New Zealand last Au­gust - with an in­jury.

Du Plessis took tem­po­rary charge of the side and when it won away in Australia, was asked to do the job full-time. De Vil­liers needed more time

to re­cover and con­ceded the Test team had made strides un­der du Plessis.

Then, in January this year, de Vil­liers an­nounced a sab­bat­i­cal from the long­est for­mat un­til at least De­cem­ber, when South Africa is due to host In­dia.

He cited work­load man­age­ment, with an eye on the 2019 World Cup, as the main rea­son for his de­ci­sion.

How­ever, dur­ing this tour, it emerged that de Vil­liers had ac­tu­ally wanted to re­tire from Tests com­pletely in late 2016 but was per­suaded to stay on by CSA.

De Vil­liers has since said he will make a firm de­ci­sion on his fu­ture when the board an­nounce its plans for the coach­ing po­si­tion at the end of this turn. Rus­sell Domingo, who has de Vil­liers' sup­port, is out of con­tract and is ex­pected to be re­placed by Ot­tis Gib­son which may bring on a full re­tire­ment by de Vil­liers, or at least a hang­ing-up of his Test whites.

Faf du Plessis

A B de Vil­liers

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