If AB de Villiers is to stage a return for the T20 World Cup and possibly the tour to the United States and the Caribbean somebody will have to make way.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Seeing how AB could slot into a World Cup squad of 15-strong isn’t that hard given that the Proteas did not see fit to utilize Pite van Biljon, one would assume that he or another fringe player would lose out.
When it comes to the playing XI things are less cut and dried. T20 batting lineups are increasingly fluid, and it would not be strange if the Proteas utilized players in multiple positions according to the surface and match conditions.
De Villiers could be called upon to bat anywhere in the top six, and that extends to all the other batsmen batting perhaps Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma. Even then de Kock has been used down the order in the IPL and Bavuma has tremendous versatility.
Similar versatility may be desired when it comes to the rest of the specialist batsmen.
If the series against England is anything to go by the Proteas look set to field a team with five specialist batsmen, two allrounders and four bowlers.
The answer to the question of who makes way for AB might be answered in the series against Australia.
An injury to Bavuma means the Proteas have to find a new opener and could trial Faf du Plessis in the role or fall back on Jon-Jon Smuts.
Smuts has not impressed in the middle overs and needs to do something dramatic to keep himself in the frame.
Another man in danger is David Miller, who has shown only glimpses of his former destructive power this season.
Heinrich Klaasen has never been safe in the Proteas setup, and he too needs runs to save his bacon.
Rassie van der Dussen should be safe from the axe as long as he continues to perform as he has done.
It, therefore, remains to be seen who will make way to accommodate de Villiers if and when he returns to the Proteas T20I team.
Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets