AB de Villiers says no to keeping in IPL, doubtful for next RCB game

South African batsman AB de Villiers could possibly miss the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s second game, after missing out in their opening clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday (5th April).

The 33-year-old stated that the franchise will take a call post a training session before the game on Saturday.

The South African great was set to take over as interim captain in the absence of Virat Kohli, but back troubles kept him out of the final of the Momentum Cup, South Africa’s premier domestic one-day tournament, last Friday, as well as the IPL 10 season opener on Wednesday.

Speaking at a promotional event on Thursday for his app, AB17, De Villiers said, “Even though I’m very very keen to get on the field, I’ll make sure that I’m 100% fit. Because, if you go on the park and you’re 90%, you might be out for longer anyway. It doesn’t make sense. I am going to test it [the back] out this afternoon. We’ve got a nets session. I’ll hit a couple of balls, see what it feels like, and then we’ll make a call.”

The destructive batsman further added that he was not going to consider wicketkeeping anytime soon. With KL Rahul ruled out for the entire tournament with a shoulder injury, it was all-rounder Kedar Yadav who donned the gloves for the Bengaluru franchise in game one.

“I will definitely not consider wicketkeeping,” De Villiers said. “I’ll miss the next five years if I start keeping again. My back won’t allow that. My back is sore because of all those years of keeping.”

The Bengaluru outfit lost their opening game to the defending champions on Wednesday, falling short by 35 runs while chasing a stiff target of 208. De Villiers believed that it was always going to be a tough game for the side, given the number of first-team players that were missing from the eventual line-up.

“Last night’s game was always going to be difficult,” De Villiers said. “It is the first game of the season. The [Royal Challengers] team that played the final last year and the team that played last night, I think there were about five or six changes. So, it was always going to be difficult to hit the ground running without Virat [Kohli], myself, and KL Rahul, all leaders in their own right. But I have never doubted the skill and the talent of the team. I have no doubt in my mind that we will come back strong from this.”

RCB play the Delhi Daredevils next on Saturday at home, followed by Kings XI Punjab away on Monday.

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