SA vs IND, ODI series: Faf du Plessis names AB de Villiers' replacement

SA vs IND, ODI series: Faf du Plessis names AB de Villiers’ replacement

De Villiers expected to return in time for the 4th ODI.

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

With the Test series done and dusted, it’s now time to look forward to the limited-overs leg of the South Africa tour. Coming on the back off a series win, the hosts will be keen to start on a strong note and keep the winning momentum going. However, their preparations dealt a premature blow as the team will be without the services of marquee batsman AB de Villiers.

De Villiers sustained an injury to his right index finger during the third Test match and will require up to two weeks to make a full recovery. In the process, he has been ruled out of the first three ODIs and will be forced to spend it on the sidelines. The Cricket South Africa (CSA) medical team is hopeful De Villiers will recover in time for the fourth ‘Pink’ ODI.

In the interim, the board has named Test opener Aiden Markram as the veteran’s replacement. Du Plessis confirmed that Markram will slot in at No 4. The Test opener has played just one ODI game, scoring 66 against Bangladesh in October, also batting at No 4.

Speaking about the opportunity, Du Plessis said to SA Cricket Magazine, ‘This gives Aiden an opportunity to bat in different places in the batting order. It’s a great way to evolve your own game and learn in difficult situations and times in ODI cricket. It will be a nice learning curve for him and hopefully, it will yield some good runs for us.’

Markram’s chance to establish himself as an ODI player

The opportunity provides Markram with another crack to prove his worth in the limited overs format. He is already tipped as a future Proteas captain and, already, he has made an impact on the international stage. Getting Markram into the ODI set-up as soon as possible is not a bad call, and with De Villiers out this could be the perfect opportunity.

There will be several players returning to the national setup and Du Plessis hinted at potential starting spots for Chris Morris and JP Duminy.