South Africa’s A.B. de Villiers is facing a race against time to be fit for the upcoming Test series against Australia, with the wicket-keeper batsman recovering from surgery on a hand injury.
De Villiers, who is currently the number one ICC Test batsman, was forced to have an operation at the start of the year and could now go into the three Test series against the in-form Aussies without playing a game since the Boxing Day Test against India.
The 29-year old was forced to miss the South African Twenty20 competition after sustaining the injury to his hand, but de Villers has insisted he is confident he will be fit and ready for the first Test on February 9.
De Villiers was instrumental in South Africa’s 1-0 series success against Australia last year, hitting a sensational 169 in the third Test to upset the cricket betting odds and take the game away from Michael Clarke’s team.
While South Africa are the current number one Test team in the world, having De Villiers 100% healthy could be critical to the Proteas hopes of maintaining their recent dominance of the five-day game.
Coming off the back of their incredible 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England, a development that surprised many fans of cricket betting, Australia will arrive in South Africa with a level of confidence that has been absent from the team since the end of the Warne-McGrath-Hayden et al era.
And de Villiers has admitted he is expecting a tough three Tests against the Aussies: “I’m looking forward to a massive series against Australia. They’re playing really good cricket, but there’s no reason for us to stand back. We beat them the last time we played, but it’s been a while since we beat them in South Africa,” admitted the South African ODI captain.