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South Africa welcome De Villiers back into squad against India

AB de Villiers, who suffered a finger injury in the second test against India, returns for the end of the one-day series © AFP/File / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Feb 8AB 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.

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.

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