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De Villiers A Minor Doubt For First Test

AB de Villiers
South Africa expect AB de Villiers to recover from a sore hamstring and play in the first Test
©REUTERS / Action Images

Wicket-keeper AB de Villiers is a minor doubt for South Africa ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, which begins on Wednesday 16th July.

De Villiers, who scored a brilliant century to help set up victory in the decisive third One-Day International in Hambantota, is nursing a tight right hamstring.

He was unable to keep wicket during today's training session but Cricket South Africa (CSA) are optimistic that he will be available for selection.

"He will continue to receive treatment and is likely to be available for selection for Wednesday's match," a statement confirmed.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Vernon Philander has fully recovered from the viral infection that ruled him out of the match in Hambantota, which South Africa won by 82 runs.

He knows he will need to be at his best to make an impact in traditionally spin-friendly conditions and that the new ball will be crucial.

"The more damage you can do with the new ball the better," he said.

"You want batsmen five, six and seven batting against a newish nut. In these conditions you want to be striking with the new ball, our lines upfront need to get the batsmen to play.
"I wouldn't really say that lengths change, its more the line of attack," he added.

"You need to sit on that off-stump line, and make sure you get the lbw into the game, the wider ball becomes the knick-off.

"Hopefully we can adjust really quickly and assess conditions accordingly."

Sri Lanka have played South Africa 10 times in Test matches at home, their first clash coming back in 1993.

Sri Lanka have won four times, South Africa twice and the remaining four games have been drawn.

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