De Villiers to play as specialist batsman

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Copy of iol spt pic AB de villiers REUTERS Captain AB de Villiers will be offered some rest after he battled severe hamstring cramp during his marvellous unbeaten 136 that propelled the Proteas amazing run chase. Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte

Galle - AB de Villiers will avoid putting extra stress on a hamstring injury by playing as a batsman only in the first Sri Lanka test with Quinton de Kock taking over wicketkeeping duties, South Africa captain Hashim Amla said on Tuesday.

“De Villiers unfortunately has being struggling with a hamstring, he hasn't kept in any of the practice sessions and it is unlikely he will keep tomorrow (Wednesday),” Amla, who will make his debut as a test captain, told reporters.

De Kock, playing only his second test match, opens the innings with Amla in one-day internationals but his batting position in the test side had yet to be decided, Amla said.

Due to the 21-year-old De Kock's inclusion, South Africa will play just one frontline spinner, Imran Tahir, with JP Duminy set to be utilised as the second slow bowling option.

“I have never played here before but it looks like a good flat wicket. In the subcontinent when you win the toss you are going to bat first,” Amla, who succeeded Graeme Smith as test captain, said.

The two-test series concludes with a second match in Colombo starting on July 24.


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