Faf du Plessis confirms conversation with AB de Villiers

KEEN TO RETURN: AB de Villiers at a Brisbane Heat BBL media opportunity at the Allan Border Field on Monday
KEEN TO RETURN: AB de Villiers at a Brisbane Heat BBL media opportunity at the Allan Border Field on Monday
Image: ALBERT PEREZ/GETTY IMAGES

Faf du Plessis on Wednesday confirmed he spoke to AB de Villiers about making himself available for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia in October.

Speaking ahead of the third Test against England, Du Plessis said he was keen to pave a way for De Villiers to play a role at the global month-long showpiece.

“We spoke and I was very keen to have him back and that was even before the new coaching staff was on board,” Du Plessis said.

“And then it was just about what does the next year look like  in terms on T20 cricket, how many games, where, when and what and then try to unfold that in a way to get him back.

“He’s keen to come back to do that.

“I don’t know when, I don’t have that answer yet because that decision hasn’t taken place.

“There would be a series we would like to get him back to play.”

Du Plessis alluded to De Villiers having to play in series before the World Cup to qualify for selection.

De Villiers also played in the domestic Mzansi Super League T20 tournament towards the end of last year, something that has probably worked out in his favour.

SA have 11 T20 internationals before the World Cup.

They have three each against England and Australia in February, and five away to the West Indies in August.

De Villiers would ideally have to feature in the majority of those.

Du Plessis said De Villiers’ availability was important in management’s pursuit of identifying their starting lineup.

“In an ideal world we would like to try to make sure we can play our best 11, 12, 13 players for a few games, and a few series together leading up to a T20 World Cup.

“I think the learning curve for me with the 50-over World Cup last year was that we never had the combinations we were looking for.

“We were always looking for them especially with a new coach in Ottis Gibson, who didn’t know a lot of the players — there was a search for a lot of players in finding combinations.

“If we can do that over again with the T20 World Cup we can try to settle into combination a bit earlier so the guys can play as many together as possible.”

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