AB de Villiers, the former South Africa cricketer, has voiced his confidence in Sanju Samson ahead of India’s ODI series against South Africa. Despite Sanju’s absence from the 2023 World Cup squad, his return for the upcoming 50-over series against the Proteas marks a significant comeback onto the national stage.

Having debuted in 2021 against Sri Lanka, the Kerala batter’s journey in ODIs has been marked with sporadic appearances. He has scored 390 runs at an impressive average of 55.71 and strike-rate of 104 in 13 matches, with three half-centuries. de Villiers expressed optimism over the wicketkeeper-batter’s South African stint, emphasising his ability to not just batting but also his prowess as a wicketkeeper. 

“It’s great to see him in the team. He will enjoy the South African wickets. He stands tall when he bats. There’s a bit of bounce and movement and all the batters will be tested. But someone like Sanju, I think, will do well. And he also gives you an option with the gloves,” de Villiers was quoted as saying on his YouTube channel.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s absence paves way for youngsters

India’s ODIs against South Africa commence on Sunday, December 17, kickstarting at Johannesburg’s New Wanderers Stadium. The subsequent matches will be played at St George’s Park in Gqeberha and Boland Park in Paarl on December 19 and 21. Notably, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli won’t join the team for the white-ball series as per their request to the board.

Suryakumar Yadav assumes leadership for India in the T20I series against South Africa, commencing on December 10. The tour encompasses three ODIs and two Tests. The ted-ball games will be played in Centurion, starting December 26, and Cape Town, commencing January 3. KL Rahul will take the charge of the ODI squad. Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami’s participation hinges on his fitness as he is undergoing necessary medical attention currently.

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