Captain de Villiers likely to given rest from keeping duties

Last Updated: Jun 08, 2011, 13:47 PM IST

Johannesburg: South Africa`s newly-appointed limited-overs skipper A B de Villiers may be relieved of wicket-keeping duties given the additional burden of the captaincy along with batting.

Prolific batsman de Villiers, who kept wicket at the start of his Test career and sometimes fills in for veteran Mark Boucher in one-dayers, is unlikely to add keeping wickets to his list of responsibilities following his elevation as Proteas skipper for the shorter formats of the game.

South Africa`s newly-appointed coach Gary Kirsten said that wicket-keeping issue will be discussed soon.

"We`ve spoken about it. I don`t think a final decision has been made. We`ll together work out the best way forward with his added responsibilities now and what`s going to be the best way forward for the team," Kirsten was quoted as saying by `The Times`.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Morne van Wyk acted as back-up for de Villiers behind the stumps at the World Cup. But the Free State Knights player failed to impress with the gloves.

Titans keeper Heino Kuhn, who is also more than useful with the bat, is a possible successor to de Villiers. Kuhn, 27, is also a regular feature in the South African A side.

Other possible keepers include Thami Tsolekile from the Lions and IPL side Mumbai Indians` Davy Jacobs. Kirsten said de Villiers, who succeeded Graeme Smith as Proteas limited-overs captain on Monday, was the obvious choice for the job.

"I think that it`s important to look at an individual whose name is the first or second on the team sheet," the former India coach said.

"I think that does play a role. But, certainly in the limited conversations I`ve had within South African cricket, the general feeling is that AB was the right man to take the team forward in the shorter formats of the game," the former Proteas opening batsman said.

PTI