De Kock set to retain gloves in Colombo

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South Africa are set to go into the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo with Quinton de Kock as wicketkeeper, as AB de Villiers feels he is not in the right form to take the gloves back.

South Africa are set to go into the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo with Quinton de Kock as wicketkeeper, as AB de Villiers feels he is not in the right form to take the gloves back.

De Kock did an admirable job in Galle, with both gloves and the bat, as De Villiers could not keep due to a hamstring injury. But the main issue now is his lower back, and De Villiers says he's not ready to keep yet.

De Villiers said: "In the last game I had that hammy issue. That's sort of recovered, but my back's always been an issue. It's difficult to take on the gloves, especially keeping in mind that I haven't kept for six or seven months now.

"So, with that injury and a two-day turnaround after the day off yesterday, for me to get into shape with my gloves on would be a little bit unfair with my back."

This didn't mean he was ready to give up keeping entirely, but said he would not jeopardise the team by demanding to keep, and was happy to have De Kock behind the stumps until he was fully fit for a whole series.

He added: "I'd still like to think that I'm a wicketkeeping-batsman and whatever the team wants me to do, I'll do that.

"But we'd have to manage it really well so that I don't come into a series having not kept for five or six months. I have to come prepared to a series without any niggles."

When asked if he minded fielding without the gloves, he said he missed being involved with every ball, but didn't mind standing at slip: "I do enjoy fielding. It's tough at slip.

"The ball doesn't come to you very often. So from that perspective I enjoy keeping more – you're in the game the whole time. But it's nice to pull off something special every now and then in the field, to keep the intensity and the energy going."

He then said he was keen to contribute more with the bat, having scored 21 and 51 in Galle: "I didn't have a huge Test match with the bat in the last game, although I played a decent knock in the second innings.

"I'd love to get in and make an impact for the team and get us into a position where we can win the game. It's never been about my own runs. If I can score as many as possible to get us into a position to win then I'll be a very happy man."

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