De Villiers Expected To Play As Batsman

Quinton de Kock in training
Quinton de Kock is expected to make his second Test start with AB de Villiers unable to keep wicket
©REUTERS / Action Images

AB de Villiers is expected to play the first Test against Sri Lanka as a specialist batsman as he struggles to recover from a right hamstring injury.

Quinton de Kock could be in line for his second Test cap if de Villiers, who picked up the injury during the One-Day International series, which South Africa won 2-1, does not recover in time.

"AB has been struggling with his right hamstring since Saturday's match," South Africa's new Test captain Hashim Amla explained.

"He hasn't kept in any of the practises so it's unlikely that he will keep tomorrow, but he will play as a batsman."

De Kock looks likely to take over as wicket-keeper if de Villiers does not make it.

Amla is set to lead the side for the first time since being appointed as Graeme Smith's full-time successor earlier this year.

And with Jacques Kallis having also retired, this series is very much the beginning of a new era for the Proteas.

"The one-dayers have given the team a lot of confidence," Amla said.

"The personnel is pretty much the same barring a few guys that have come into the team. It (winning) has given the team a lot of confidence and the self-belief of winning here.

"Test cricket is a different game but by the same token tasting that success does rub off."

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results
6th July: 1st ODI, Colombo
South Africa 304-5 (Amla 109, de Villiers 75) beat
Sri Lanka 229 (Sangakkara 88) by 75 runs
9th July: 2nd ODI, Pallekele
Sri Lanka 267 (Dilshan 86, McLaren 4-48) beat
South Africa 180 (Amla 101) by 87 runs
12th July: 3rd ODI, Hambantota
South Africa 339-5 (de Kock 128, de Villiers 108) beat
Sri Lanka 257 (Mathews 58) by 82 runs
16th-20th July: 1st Test, Galle
South Africa 455-9 dec. & 206-6 dec. beat
Sri Lanka 292 & 216 (Sangakkara 76) by 153 runs
24th-28th July: 2nd Test, Colombo
Sri Lanka 421 & 229-8 dec. drew with
South Africa 282 & 159-8 (Herath 5-40)