De Villiers excited, confident over new role as keeper

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2012, 12:43 PM IST

London: AB de Villiers is excited to be keeping wicket for South Africa in next week’s first Test following the freak injury that ended regular keeper Mark Boucher’s career.

South Africa called up Thami Tsolekile as a replacement, but De Villiers, a specialist batsman who has kept wicket at international level, is expected to take over behind the stumps for at least the first Test at The Oval on Thursday.

“We are still deciding on the tactics. I am very excited as I have always been up for challenges,” the 28-year-old De Villiers, who kept in only the second of his now 74 Tests, told a news channel on Thursday,” he said.

“Whatever is best for the team and maybe it is that I take the gloves. I don``t think it leaves us with a bad balance and it probably opens up an extra spot for another batsman or bowler.

“I have really been working on my keeping. I have been keeping in the IPL (Indian Premier League) and in the ODIs and T20s for the Proteas. I feel as though I am improving with the gloves,” De Villiers insisted.

South Africa can displace England as the world’s No 1 Test side during the course of this three-match series if the beat the Three Lions, a website reports.

“Maybe we will be a bit undercooked and we would have liked to have played a couple of Test matches against whoever coming into the series but you have got to take what you get,” said De Villiers.

“I think both batting line-ups will be under pressure in the series, (they are) two of the best bowling attacks in the world I believe. We have lots of respect for the English team for what they have achieved over the last few years,” he said.