What’s the story?
RCB coach Daniel Vettori’s options have been restricted once again as star batsman AB de Villiers said that he isn’t ready to take up the gloves during IPL 2017. The South African batsman was also unsure about his participation in RCB’s game against Delhi Daredevils in Bengaluru on Saturday (April 8).
In the absence of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers was expected to lead but his back problems which ruled him out RCB’s opening game this season, have meant that Shane Watson was given captaincy till Kohli returns.
Speaking about whether he would provide another option for the coach as far as keeping was concerned, AB de Villiers said: “I will definitely not consider wicketkeeping. 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.”
On his participation for DD clash, he 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."
RCB lost their opening game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in what was a repeat of last year’s final. Kohli, AB and Rahul, their three leading run-scorers from IPL 2016 all missed that clash and that was evident as their batting struggled in their pursuit of a 200+ target.
Daniel Vettori had earlier said that AB could provide an option with the gloves, particular given KL Rahul’s injury that ruled him out of the entire tournament. Although RCB still have Kedar Jadhav, who kept in the opening game, AB’s decision now means that they don’t really have a viable alternative should form or fitness ensure that Jadhav doesn't take to the field.
Extra Cover: KL Rahul ruled out of IPL 2017 with shoulder injury
After losing the opening game against Sunrisers away from home, RCB will kick off their home campaign with a clash against Delhi Daredevils on April 8.
With the Champions Trophy around the corner, you certainly can’t blame AB de Villiers for not rushing back into the RCB set-up. As was the case with Kohli, who earlier admitted that he won’t be back until he is “120% fit”, players have their priorities and you have to respect that. Same goes, as far as his keeping is concerned, as no one knows AB’s body and what it can withstand than the man himself.