De Villiers doubtful for second game, won’t keep for entire IPL either

“Even though I’m very very keen to get on the field, I’ll make sure that I’m 100% fit”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Royal Challengers Bangalore could be without South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers for their game against the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.

De Villiers, who is nursing a back injury, missed his side’s Indian Premier League (IPL) opener against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, in which the Royal Challengers were beaten by 35 runs.

De Villiers confirmed that a decision on his availability will be taken after a training session on Thursday.

The 33-year-old also revealed that he will not keep wicket throughout the tournament.

“Even though I’m very very keen to get on the field, I’ll make sure that I’m 100% fit,” De Villiers said. “Because, if you go on the park and you’re 90%, you might be out for longer anyway. It doesn’t make sense. I am going to test it [the back] out this afternoon. We’ve got a nets session. I’ll hit a couple of balls, see what it feels like, and then we’ll make a call.

“I will definitely not consider wicketkeeping. I’ll miss the next five years if I start keeping again. My back won’t allow that. My back is sore because of all those years of keeping.”

Meanwhile, De Villiers also admitted that he has been highly impressed with Virat Kohli’s leadership skills.

Initially, the Pretoria native was unsure whether Kohli had what it took to be a great captain due to the fact that he was very emotional. But, after watching the 28-year-old guide India through a highly successful home season, De Villiers confirmed that all his doubts have gone out the window.

“I think it has been an amazing journey to watch him grow as a leader,” he said. “I think, at the start, when the people mentioned to me he has leadership qualities and might become a captain one day, I doubted it. I thought he was emotional with his reactions.

“[Now] I think he has found a way to deal with it. He has showed he has skills with his captaincy and he has taken all the doubters and showed them he can conquer anything.

“He did not have the best of series with bat in hand in the last series [against Australia] but what stood out for me was his leadership. He led from the front and that showed. I think that’s the greatest test for a captain – when you don’t do well personally and how you come through as a captain. He came through with flying colours.”

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