De Villiers to replace Boucher as Test glovesman?

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Published: Friday, July 13, 2012, 12:36 [IST]
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SA still deciding on the tactics:  ABD

London, Jul 13: South Africa's AB de Villiers might be replacing the injured Mark Boucher as wicket-keeper in the first Test against England next week as the latter announced his retirement from international cricketer following an eye injury.

Ab de Villiers, who has kept wickets at an international level is expected to fill the void created by Boucher for the time being as South Africa take on England in the first Test next Thursday.

Boucher, had effected 555 dismissals in 147 Tests, which is a record by itself as no other wicket-keeper has come close to that so far, was forced to call it quits after a bail hit his eye during the tour opener against Somerset earlier this week.

Though South Africa called for Thami Tsolekile as Boucher's replacement, AB de Villiers is expected to do the job for Proteas while the final decision will be out soon on the same.

"We are still deciding on the tactics," the 28-year-old de Villiers, who kept in only the second of his now 74 Tests, told Sky Sports on Thursday.

"I am very excited as I have always been up for challenges," he added at Canterbury, south-east England, where the Proteas face Kent in a three-day match starting Friday.

Talking about the possibilities ahead of the team's first Test against England, De Villiers said he is ready to do what the team asks for, as he is expected to take over Boucher's role as wicket-keeper.

"Whatever is best for the team and maybe it is that I take the gloves.

"I don't think it leaves us with a bad balance and it probably opens up an extra spot for another batsman or bowler.

"I have really been working on my keeping," de Villiers insisted. "I have been keeping in the IPL (Indian Premier League) and in the ODIs and T20s for the Proteas. I feel as though I am improving with the gloves."

De Villiers also added that both the teams will be under pressure to perform as the series will witness two best bowling attacks in the world.

"I think both batting line-ups will be under pressure in the series, (they are) two of the best bowling attacks in the world I believe.

"Andrew Strauss (England captain) and Andy Flower (coach) have done an amazing job with the team, we know it's going to be a hard-fought series," said the 28 year old.

"We are looking forward to the challenge, we know the number one spot is up for grabs and to achieve something like that would be a great thing so we will go out all guns blazing and hopefully we will come out on top," De Villiers concluded.


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