World Cup: AB de Villiers to Lead as South Africa Gamble on Injured Quinton de Kock

Updated: 07 January 2015 21:50 IST

In a side which has eight players who have played World Cup before, South Africa have also included wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock despite a torn ankle ligament.

World Cup: AB de Villiers to Lead as South Africa Gamble on Injured Quinton de Kock
File photo of South Africa's Quinton de Kock. The cricketer could miss South Africa's first two matches in the World Cup as he is recovering from a torn ankle ligament. © AFP

Cape Town:

Injured wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was on Wednesday named in South Africa's squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next month.

De Kock, 22, a free-scoring left-handed opening batsman and capable wicketkeeper, tore ligaments in his right ankle while warming up during the first Test against the West Indies on December 19. (Also read: Pakistan squad | Sri Lanka squad | Zimbabwe squad | Ignored for World Cup, father Yograj says Yuvraj will fight back)

It was estimated that he could be out of action for between 10 and 12 weeks, which would probably mean him missing at least South Africa's first two World Cup matches, against Zimbabwe on February 15 and India on February 22.

De Kock has become such a valuable member of the one-day side, with six centuries in his first 35 one-day internationals, that the selectors are willing to gamble on him recovering in time to play the team's later pool games and in the knock-out stages, with AB de Villiers taking the gloves in the interim.

World Cup regulations make provision for teams to name injured players and replace them before the tournament, or if they aggravate the injury at the tournament, provided a medical certificate is produced.

There are no major surprises in the squad, although there are two changes from the 15 that were beaten 4-1 in a series in Australia in November.

Left-handed batsman and off-spin bowler JP Duminy and left-arm spin bowler Aaron Phangiso return after missing the November tour because of injury.

All-rounder Ryan McLaren, the side's leading wicket-taker in both 2013 and 2014, was dropped after a dramatic fall-off in form since suffering a broken arm against Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in a Test match last season.

Robin Peterson, a veteran of three World Cups who replaced Phangiso in Australia, was also omitted.

South Africa's challenge will be spearheaded by a strong batting line-up, in which De Villiers and Hashim Amla have outstanding records, while the powerful fast bowling trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will be complemented by leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who has taken 47 wickets in 27 one-day internationals.

De Villiers said he was confident the right squad had been chosen.

"It's a huge honour. I'm very confident. We know we have to keep our feet on the ground and work hard. It's a huge tournament which we have never won before and we want to bring it home."

In contrast to previous South African teams, there is a shortage of top-quality all-rounders.

Duminy is likely to be a key player but batting all-rounder Farhaan Behardien and bowling all-rounder Wayne Parnell are not guaranteed places in the starting line-up.

The South Africa squad will play in a five-match one-day series against the West Indies, starting on January 16 with Morne van Wyk standing in as wicketkeeper in place of De Kock.

South Africa squad:

AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla (vice-captain), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wkt), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.

Head coach: Russell Domingo

Assistant coach: Adrian Birrell

Bowling coach: Allan Donald

Spin bowling coach: Claude Henderson

Topics : South Africa AB de Villiers Quinton de Kock World Cup 2015 Cricket
Related Articles
Kagiso Rabada Shines As South Africa Record First ODI Win At Lord's, England Clinch Series
Kagiso Rabada Shines As South Africa Record First ODI Win At Lord's, England Clinch Series
Jonty Rhodes Posts Picture With Newborn Baby, Twitter Goes Gaga
Jonty Rhodes Posts Picture With Newborn Baby, Twitter Goes Gaga
South Africa vs England, 2nd ODI: AB de Villiers Angry at 'Ball-Tampering' Inference
South Africa vs England, 2nd ODI: AB de Villiers Angry at 'Ball-Tampering' Inference
Show Comments
Advertisement