De Villiers to keep wicket in first two Tests

De Villiers has not kept wicket since the turn of the year

De Villiers has not kept wicket since the start of 2015

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

AB de Villiers will don the keeping gloves for South Africa in the first two Tests against England in Durban and Cape Town.

The move comes after regular wicketkeeper Dane Vilas was dropped from the 13-man squad following a dismal series in India, while Quinton de Kock was not picked despite scoring two centuries during the five-match ODI series.

De Villiers last kept wicket in two Tests against the West Indies at the turn of the year as de Kock was injured at the time.

Meanwhile, South Africa have selected Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott as their four pace bowlers and chosen Dane Piedt to be their lone spinner as Imran Tahir failed to have much of an impact during the recent four-Test series in India.

“One of the issues that concerned us during the tour to India was the lack of depth to our batting, particularly in the lower order and the change in AB’s role means that we can now have a specialist batsman at No. 7,” Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection convener, Linda Zondi, said. “We now feel that the side has a much better balance about it without in any way reducing the tactical options available to our captain, Hashim Amla.

“The return to South African conditions made it inevitable that we would only choose one specialist spinner with JP Duminy and Elgar both available as back-up and Dane [Piedt] is the man in possession.”

“Our batting line-up has served us well in the past in matches under our own conditions and I am confident they will be ready for the challenge in what is going to be a very tough series in which experience will play a vital role.”

South Africa Test squad: Hashim Amla (capt), AB de Villiers (wk), Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl

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