AB de Villiers returns to the South African squad for the last three one-day internationals against India, Cricket South Africa announced on Thursday.
The star batsman missed the first three matches because of a finger injury suffered in the third Test against the same opponents last month.
There was no immediate word on whether De Villiers had recovered sufficiently to play in the fourth match at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday. He will be assessed when the squad reassembles in Johannesburg on Friday.
South Africa will be desperate for De Villiers to play after India dominated the first three matches, taking a commanding 3-0 lead.
In what could amount to an admission that South Africa are short of strength in depth, the return of De Villiers is the only change to a squad weakened by injuries to regular captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.
South Africa’s batsmen have struggled, particularly against India’s spinners. Du Plessis hit a century in the first game before being injured but JP Duminy, with 51 in the third game in Cape Town, is the only other South African to have made a half-century.
Farhaan Behardien, who was added to the squad after Du Plessis was injured, is the only batsman in the group, other than De Villiers, who has not yet played in the series.
South African squad:
Aiden Markram (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khaya Zondo.
The skipper’s unbeaten 159-ball 160 helped India post a huge first innings total of 303-6, one that proved too big for the hosts who were all-out for just 179 runs.
Here, we look at the seven deadly stats from Kohli’s remarkable 34th ODI hundred.
Over the course of his 160-run knock, Kohli completed his 1000th run against the Proteas in ODIs. The 29-year-old now has 1029 runs in 21 innings against the opposition at an average of 60.52. This was also his third ton against South Africa.
MOST HUNDREDS AS INDIA SKIPPER
With his 12th century since taking over the captaincy in the 50-over format, Kohli has now overtaken Saurav Ganguly for the most tons scored while leading the Indian team. His 12 centuries have come in only 43 innings compared to Ganguly’s 143. Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni are tied in third spot with six tons each.
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) February 7, 2018
Out of the 160 runs Kohli scored on Wednesday, 60 of them came from boundaries while 75 were singles, 22 doubles and three triples. He is the first Indian batsman to have scored 100 runs in a single match without any boundaries. He is the fifth batsmen overall to achieve this feat.
Amidst the runs that Virat Kohli scores, don’t lose sight of his incredible fitness. His boundary percentage is quite low which means he runs a lot between wickets. And still has an excellent strike rate.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 7, 2018
HIGHEST SCORE BY AN INDIAN IN SOUTH AFRICA
The batting maestro’s innings was the highest ever by any Indian batsmen against the South Africans in their own backyard.
Once again, it was Ganguly who held the previous record with an unbeaten 127 at Johannesburg. Kohli’s score is also the highest by an Indian batsman against any opposition in South Africa. The previous best was 152 by Tendulkar against Namibia in a 2003 World Cup clash.
Highest ODI score by an Indian batsman against the home side in South Africa
128* Virat Kohli
127 Sourav Ganguly#SAvInd
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) February 7, 2018
MOST RUNS BY A VISITING BATSMAN
With 318 runs in the series so far, Kohli has now scored the most runs by any visiting batsman against South Africa in South Africa. Ricky Ponting held the previous record with 238 runs during Australia’s tour of South Africa in 2001-02.
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) February 7, 2018
KOHLI PIPS AMLA
His 34th ton has now taken Kohli’s tally in international centuries across all formats to 55. He has now moved into the fifth spot in the all-time highest international century-makers list, overtaking Hashim Amla who has 54 to his credit so far. Tendulkar sits pretty in the top spot with his staggering 100 tons.
Most centuries in international cricket :
100 – Sachin Tendulkar
71 – Ricky Ponting
63 – Kumar Sangakkara
62 – Jacques Kallis
55 – VIRAT KOHLI ( Age – 29) #SAvIND
— Raghava (@Raghava4mahesh) February 7, 2018
The Indian skipper arrived at the crease in the second over after Rohit Sharma’s early dismissal. He stayed until the end, hitting the final delivery of the innings for a boundary.
The 159 balls faced by him in between is the highest by any Indian batsman on overseas pitches outside the opening position. Mohammad Azharuddin was the previous best after having faced 154 deliveries against England at the Oval in 1986.
Virat Kohli finishes unbeaten at 160 off 159 balls – THE LONGEST EVER INNINGS for India outside opening position. Previous: 154 balls Azharuddin vs England, The Oval, 1986. #RSAvInd
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) February 7, 2018
England captain Eoin Morgan believes contested catches are an unavoidable part of the landscape after watching Glenn Maxwell cash in on a debatable decision and power Australia to victory in Hobart.
Maxwell’s superb 103 not out saw the hosts to a second straight win in the Trans-Tasman T20 series, having thrashed New Zealand in Sydney, but it might easily have been a very different story.
Having already been dropped by Alex Hales on 40 he chipped the ball to long-off on 59, where Jason Roy stooped to claim a low catch.
Standing umpire Gerard Abood offered a ‘soft signal’ of out but sent it for review and was overturned by colleague Chris Brown, despite typically inconclusive replays and the precarious position of the match.
Morgan felt that was the wrong call but shied away from a hard luck story, admitting there was no easy way to avert such controversies.
“Jason said it was out. I trust the player’s call, I agreed with the on-field umpire at the time, but I can understand how it got overturned,” he said after the five-wicket defeat in England’s first T20I outing of the series.
“Sometimes you don’t get those decisions going your way. There were two dropped catches, officially.
“My opinion doesn’t really matter but we always know TV makes it look worse than it is.”
Asked if he would support a review of umpiring protocols for similar incidents, Morgan demurred.
“I would say yes but I don’t know how, I don’t have an answer,” he said.
“If there’s no right answer to something then you can’t correct it. I’m all for reviewing catches.
“If the umpire is 60 metres away and can’t see he needs to go upstairs but there’s no solution to it yet. Until somebody comes up with one I’m not sure.”