Proteas Test squad announced: AB de Villiers makes long-awaited return

AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn will make their return to the Proteas Test side in the experimental four day match against Zimbabwe on Boxing Day in Port Elizabeth.

The veteran duo who made their debut in the same venue as that of the once-off day night Test return to the fold alongside all rounder Vernon Philander who last played in the last Test against England at The Oval in July before being sidelined by injury.

South Africa have had to do without de Villiers in white clothing for almost two years, thanks to a self-imposed absence where he cited “managing his workload” in an effort to elongate his career.

The 33-year old’s hiatus exposed a vulnerability in the Proteas’ batting line-up as performance with the bat was far below par.

Considered the world’s best bowler before his long-term injury, Steyn has also been on the sidelines for over a year, last making an appearance in the first Test against Australia in Perth in November 2016. On that occasion, he could only make a contribution with the ball in the first innings as he walked off clutching his shoulder in the third morning.

Steyn’s return alongside Philander adds considerable beef to the bowling line up as they join fellow quicks Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel. All rounder Andile Phehlukwayo is the other seam option available, while Duanne Olivier drops out of the squad completely.

Keshav Maharaj heads the spin options while opening batsmen Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram are also capable of turning their arm over should they be required.

Full squad
Faf du Plessis,
Hashim Amla,
Temba Bavuma,
Quinton de Kock,
Theunis de Bruyn,
AB de Villiers,
Dean Elgar,
Keshav Maharaj,
Aiden Markram,
Morne Morkel,
Andile Phehlukwayo,
Vernon Philander,
Kagiso Rabada,
Dale Steyn.

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