SA vs IND: AB de Villiers cleared to play fourth ODI

"AB is AB. Apart from what he brings on the field, it's what he brings off the field." - Chris Morris.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

South Africa has finally found a glimmering hope in the ongoing ODI series in the form of AB de Villiers return after missing out the initial three matches. India are already leading the six-match-series 3-0 and it was expected to be smooth for them since some of their main players such as de Villiers, skipper Faf du Plessis and wicket-keeper opening batsman Quinton de Kock were out with injury.

However, the hosts will breathe a sigh of relief as stalwart AB de Villiers has been declared fit to play the fourth ODI between South Africa and India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday. Earlier, on Thursday, de Villiers was included into the 15-man squad for the final three ODIs after he missed the first three due to injury. However, there was still some doubts regarding him being in the playing XI for the Pink ODI and the decision to play him was supposed to be taken only after the training on the eve of the match.

According to News 18, de Villiers was seen hitting the balls in the nets on Friday and showed no signs of discomfort. With ABD’s return, the Proteas can stage a comeback to make sure they don’t end up on the receiving end. India have already taken a 3-0 lead but if the Proteas manage to win the next three, they will draw the series and continue their unbeaten run against India at home.

Team-mate showers praise

Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Morris heaped praise on De Villiers during the press conference on the eve of the clash and said that the star batsman brings a lot to the team both on and off the pitch. He is not only an experienced campaigner but a great influence for his team-mates. Considering the fact that there are several debutants in the series, he will bring a huge calming factor to the team.

“AB is AB. Apart from what he brings on the field, it’s what he brings off the field. He brings that calmness, he brings that experience. To have a world-class player come back and play for South Africa is a special, special occasion,” Morris said.

Even now, the chances for South Africa losing the series are bleak if he returns because just his inclusion in the side can mean that they have a clear match winner against India, capable of producing an exhibition and countering the opponent’s terrific bowling.

“It’s a special moment for me as I quite enjoy sharing the field with him. It’s a special occasion every time I walk on to the field with AB because to me he is – if not the best – one of the best players in the world and one of the best players to play for South Africa ever. But to the team, he brings so much more than runs, he brings AB de Villiers. The AB de Villiers factor, let’s put it that way,” he added.