Despite de Villiers loss, Proteas remain confident ahead of Australia ODI series

BY MARC JACOBSON - SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

South African ODI captain and Proteas’ stalwart, AB de Villiers, will miss the upcoming five-match ODI incoming tour against Australia due to a left elbow impingement injury.

After failing to pass a fitness test on Tuesday and failing to respond to treatment and rehab, de Villiers will undergo surgery to repair the troublesome elbow. This will also force de Villiers to miss the outgoing Test series against Australia in Australia in November.

Proteas Team Manager, Dr. Mohammed Moosajee, says that their target with regards to the surgical repair would be to have de Villiers return to the Proteas’ fold against Sri Lanka in their home series over the festive season. For the time being though, Rilee Rossouw has replaced de Villiers in the current Proteas ODI squad to face Australia, while Faf du Plessis will take over as captain.

Irrespective of the loss of their captain courageous, South Africa’s preparations for the tour against Australia currently look well on-track after a comprehensive 206-run win against Ireland on Sunday. The Proteas’ batted first and set a stern total of 354 in their 50 overs after losing only five wickets – with the last wicket of Behardien falling on the very last ball of the innings.

South Africa then managed to get Ireland all out for 148 in the 31st over. Four of the seven batsmen who took to the crease for the Proteas on the day scored half-centuries, with debutant, Temba Bavuma, scoring a century on debut, making 113.

JP Duminy who scored an unbeaten 52 and a career-best bowling figures of 4-16 against Ireland, told SuperSport that he is very happy with that performance leading into the series coming up.

“It was probably the perfect preparation going into what is going to be a big series for us. I’m happy with where my game is at the moment in terms of the practices we have had over the last few days,” said Duminy.

After a downward streak with the bat, Duminy has recently found his feet again with some promising form after recently making 88 in a Test match against New Zealand last month, and now firmly contributing for the Proteas against Ireland.

“I have made a few mental changes and one or two technical changes to my game which has contributed to some decent performances of late,” Duminy added.

After gaining some considerable confidence, Duminy has emphasized that he has not only made technical changes to his batting game, but also to his bowling, which had contributed to his career-best figures against Ireland.

“I’m currently happy with the state of my game and this continuation seems to be working well and it’s something that I want to continue doing, which is to contribute a lot more with the ball in the shorter formats.”

Australia will also heed much confidence heading into the ODI series, after also comprehensively beating Ireland by nine wickets on Tuesday.

South Africa is set to play their first incoming ODI against Australia in a day/night encounter at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on Friday at 14:00 SA time.

Image: AB de Villiers in action for the Proteas.