De Villiers may forgo ODI role to settle as gloveman in Tests

AB De Villiers looks on during a South African nets session at The Gabba Sydney, Nov. 6 (ANI): There could be a new twist in the complex issue of senior Proteas Test batsman AB de Villiers's additional responsibilities as wicketkeeper, according to a report.

If national coach Gary Kirsten has his way, De Villiers may actually settle in for the long haul as a designated gloveman in Tests, and instead surrender that role in the two limited-overs arenas, where he is also busy establishing himself on the captaincy front.

It had initially been speculated that De Villiers would more probably 'keep at Test level only' as an interim measure, in the aftermath of veteran Boucher's international career-ending eye injury at the start of the 2012 series in England.

But during an interview just ahead of the three-Test challenge in Australia, Kirsten provided some illuminating views on the De Villiers situation.

"The situation is this: we feel that AB at the moment is the best 'keeper in the country. So if he's your best gloveman what format do you want to use him in? Definitely in Test cricket. The other thing about him is that for a long time now he's been exposed to international competition so he's comfortable in that space," Kirsten told Sport24.

"By his own admission he feels he would like to still improve his 'keeping; he's spent a lot of time, worked really hard. We really want to engage him in that because AB has stated that he wants to be No 1 Test 'keeper in the country - which is brilliant because it gives so much balance to the XI; now we can pick a No 7 batsman," he added.

South Africa also intend calling on the advisory services of multiple record-breaking predecessor Mark Boucher to help De Villiers blossom further behind the stumps, the report said.

"We will hopefully be able to use Mark (Boucher) also to really assist him on that side, especially when we get back from Australia and there's a bit of time," he said. (ANI)

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