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After AB de Villiers’ first ODI duck, coach backs him for big innings against India

For the first time in his illustrious international career spanning 221 One Day matches, de Villiers was out for a golden duck.

AB de Villiers
South Africa captain AB de Villiers leaves the field after being dismissed by Imad Wasim. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Champions Trophy 2017 is probably South Africa’s best chance to win an ICC trophy, which has eluded them since their victory in 1998, i.e. the inaugural edition of the same tournament – the ICC knockout tournament as it was called back then. Many of the team’s senior members are edging towards the twilight of their career which is why captain AB de Villiers will be very eager to turn things around this time.

South Africa won their tournament opener against Sri Lanka but lost their second group game against Pakistan last night. With that win, Pakistan still remains in the race for a semi-final berth. Their batting failed as they could only manage 219/8 in 50 overs. In response, Pakistan were 119/3 in 27 overs when rain interrupted play. With no further action on the field, they won by D/L method.

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For the first time in his illustrious international career spanning 221 One Day matches, de Villiers was out for a golden duck. Later, coach Russell Domingo defended de Villiers’ batting and said he is a “quality player”.

“He’s a quality player. Everybody gets a first-baller. It’s just taken him 200 games,” he said. “He did pick up a little bit of a niggle with his hamstring today, but the medical team will look at him. I can’t comment until they have had a look. But I’m by no means concerned. I’m expecting him to put in a big performance on Sunday. He’s that type of player; that when the team needs him he’ll turn it up. I’m sure about that,” he added.

Do or die against India

The road towards the semi-final may be a bit tricky for South Africa as they will have to win against a powerful Indian side to still keep their hopes alive. But a duck for a player of AB de Villiers’ class only means that he will bounce back stronger in the next game.

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