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No AB de Villiers in SA squad for T20s against Australia

AB de Villiers' return to international cricket with the Proteas is almost a done deal.
AB de Villiers' return to international cricket with the Proteas is almost a done deal.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The talking will continue‚ and no doubt too the speculation.

Amid strong suggestions of his impending inclusion in the South African squad in the lead up to the ICC T20 World Cup later this year‚ on Monday AB de Villiers’ name remained absent from the squad list to play Australia.

South Africa take on Australia in three T20s starting at the Wanderers on Friday and despite coach Mark Boucher admitting to having had talks with De Villiers‚ the batting star’s self-imposed exile look set to continue.

His return could have energised a squad that lost the recent Test and T20 series against England but there will‚ however‚ be a return for Faf du Plessis as well as fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. Anrich Nortje also returns to the national team.

All three last saw action in the Test series defeat to England. Although SA lost the recent T20 series against the same opposition‚ independent selector Linda Zondi is not about to despair.

“The T20 series may not have been won but it was really pleasing to see our batting unit play so well‚” said Zondi.

“They showed a lot of aggression‚ particularly upfront‚ in every match which set a good foundation for the rest of the line-up to follow.

"The very exciting bursts of cricket that we were served up bode very well for the future‚ especially in the short term as we begin our hunt in earnest for the T20 World Cup squad.”

Australia captain Aaron Finch was impressed with what he saw in SA’s T20 series against England.

“It was a great series to watch as a lover of cricket‚” opined Finch about the series England won 2-1.

“The bat dominated ball a little more than usual.

“SA played really well with a changing side from the top order right through to number 11. All their guys had an impact in the side over the last while.”

Finch said he expected the wickets to be spinner friendly in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town‚ but not so much in Johannesburg where the first match will be played on Friday.

“That will be a bit of a challenge. That is something that we have identified as something we need to get better at as a ODI and T20 team‚” he said about playing in spin friendly conditions.

Finch had high praise for the way Quinton de Kock started his tenure as captain.

“Quinton obviously having taken over the captaincy as well and being so dynamic at the top of the order is something you have to be wary of‚" he said.

"You look at his record and it has been outstanding.

“And then (on Sunday) Claasen coming in and having such a big impact on the game was impressive from a guy who has not played a huge amount of international cricket.

“They are busy getting their best 11. With some of experienced guys in the mix will pay dividends but we are still very confident coming here.”

Quinton de Kock (captain)‚ Temba Bavuma‚ Faf du Plessis‚ Rassie van der Dussen‚ David Miller‚ Pite van Biljon‚ Dwaine Pretorius‚ Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Jon-Jon Smuts‚ Kagiso Rabada‚ Tabraiz Shamsi‚ Lungi Ngidi‚ Bjorn Fortuin‚ Anrich Nortje‚ Dale Steyn‚ Heinrich Klaasen.