As the Proteas savour a third successive Test series win, they also live in uncertainty regarding AB de Villiers’ future.
The dynamic middle-order batter’s willingness to play red-ball cricket is once again in the spotlight after team management couldn’t give a firm answer on his selection for next month’s tour to New Zealand.
De Villiers, who is South Africa’s one-day captain, is expected to lead the side in the upcoming one-day series against Sri Lanka following a long injury layoff.
In an ideal world, he would walk into the Test side again.
But that’s not the case.
“We need to sit down with him and plan his future,” said Russell Domingo, the Proteas coach.
“AB has got to make that decision, I can’t decide on whether he plays or not.
“What I mean is that AB has got to make the decision about whether he is available and the selectors have got to make the decision whether he plays. He has obviously got to make some decision about his future.”
De Villiers had already indicated during last season’s series against England that he was looking to “manage his workload”, suggesting that he wanted to give up at least one of the three formats.
Those plans – if there were any – were shelved after he was appointed Test captain last year.
But since his elbow injury, he has given that armband to Faf du Plessis.
“I’m not sure how AB will feel in terms of Test cricket so we will have to see,” said Du Plessis.
“We are excited to have him back in the one-day team. I am hoping he decides to play Test cricket. He is obviously a world-class batter and I, as a captain, would love to have him as a leader in our team. He is a fantastic player.”
De Villiers will play in a provincial one-day game next weekend with the view of picking him for the third and final T20 against Sri Lanka the following week.
From there on, he’ll be the captain in the five-game one-day series.
Mohammad Moosajee, the Proteas team manager, confirmed team management will discuss De Villiers’ view on Test cricket next week.