AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn Likely to Play Boxing Day Test
South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson had given a clue that star duo AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn could make their much-awaited return to Test cricket during the four-day Day-Night Test against Zimbabwe on December 26.
Steyn has not featured in a competitive game since injuring his shoulder during the last year’s tour of Australia. The speedster was expected to return to action earlier this year in June but is still under rehabilitation.
On the other hand, de Villiers has not played a Test since since January last year due to a combination of injuries and a self-imposed sabbatical from the longest format of the game. He recently made himself available for selection in all the formats, and although he played in the limited-overs series against Bangladesh, he was not included in the Test squad.
However, Gibson has now hinted South Africa will include de Villiers in the Test team no matter what, given his reputation.
During a press conference in Johannesburg, the former West Indies coach was asked by a journalist whether de Villiers could find a spot in the Test team. Soon, the journalist himself labelled his question as stupid before Gibson said:
“What was it you said first there? You’ve answered your question.”
Speaking about Dale Steyn, who is likely to feature in the franchise T20 competition starting November 10, Gibson hinted that he is eager to have the pacer back in the team.
“He has got a lot of T20 cricket to play and he has also got a lot of time where we can build up his workload and see that he is 100% fit. He is Dale Steyn. He is not some average guy from down the road. He is one of the best bowlers the country has ever produced. If you look him in the eyes and you say, ‘Dale are you sure you can make it?’ and he says he can make it, then he is getting the opportunity,” Gibson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
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