Shaun Pollock has said that Cricket South Africa will have to convince AB de Villiers to make a comeback to the team if they want to compete against Australia and India. The 44-year-old also added that the Proteas need to find a reliable opening partner for Dean Elgar going forward.
South Africa currently trail the ongoing Test series against England 1-2 and require 380 more runs to win the Old Trafford Test to level the 4-match series. Given this scenario, Pollock said that de Villiers’ presence in the team would make their batting more competent in coming series' against India and Australia. De Villiers has been away from Tests since January 2016 after suffering shoulder and elbow injuries.
"But I definitely think they’ve got to go down the route of trying to convince AB de Villiers, even if it is just for six months for those two big tours, that he needs to make himself available. Then, the next step would be to try and find someone consistent at the top of the order. I think those are the two big challenges for the South Africans," Cricket Writers podcast quoted Pollock saying.
De Villiers had ruled himself out of the ongoing Test series against England stating that he needed a break from the stress of international cricket. However, he has not confirmed any future appearances in Tests as yet and understandably, the Proteas have missed his indomitable presence as from eight innings to far in the ongoing series, the South African batsmen, except Dean Elgar, have failed to make a significant impact.
On the other hand, South Africa's bowling line-up has been doing well in the series and things will only get better for them in that department once Dale Steyn returns. And this is what prompted Pollock to say, "The bowling line-up looks settled, they’ve got Keshav Maharaj who has come on in leaps and bounds and maybe even Dale Steyn could be back at some stage we would hope."
Speaking of South Africa's batting woes in de Villiers Pollock observed, "They have been disappointing, even the form players have shown little bits and pieces of what they’re capable of, but no one really has gone and gotten big scores consistently,” he said.
Further, commenting on the recent performances of the Proteas, Pollock said, "Hashim Amla has been okay by his standards, Dean Elgar’s got a hundred, Temba Bavuma has been solid without going on to three figures and Faf has shown glimpses. Quinton de Kock hasn’t been at his best, while the struggles of Heino Kuhn have been well documented. So I think that us a bit of a challenge going forward. They’ve got Bangladesh coming up at home where they can maybe try and settle things down, but then they’ve two big tours, India at the end of the year and then Australia after that, those are massive tours."
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