A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: AB de Villiers to give up wicketkeeping in limited overs matches?

De Villiers has been South Africa’s wicketkeeper since the England series in July

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers may stop wicketkeeping during ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals in order to permanently don the gloves during Test matches.

South Africa coach Gary Kirsten believes that de Villiers should give up keeping in the limited overs format since he needs to concentrate on his captaincy as well.

De Villiers only started keeping after veteran wicketkeeper Mark Boucher was forced to retire prematurely due to a freak eye injury in a warm up game against Somerset this summer.

Speaking exclusive to Sports24, Kirsten said: “The situation is this: we feel that AB at the moment is the best ‘keeper in the country. So if he’s your best gloveman what format do you want to use him in? Definitely in Test cricket. The other thing about him is that for a long time now he’s been exposed to international competition so he’s comfortable in that space, by his own admission he feels he would like to still improve his ‘keeping; he’s spent a lot of time, worked really hard. We really want to engage him in that because AB has stated that he wants to be No 1 Test ‘keeper in the country – which is brilliant because it gives so much balance to the XI; now we can pick a No 7 batsman.”

Kirsten also hinted that South Africa may call on Boucher to help de Villiers become an even better keeper than he currently is.

“We will hopefully be able to use Mark (Boucher) also to really assist him on that side, especially when we get back from Australia and there’s a bit of time,” Kirsten added.

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