Johannesburg, Feb 7 ANI | 10 months ago

The Proteas team would be strengthened with A.B. de Villiers joining Dale Steyn in making an encouraging return to action ahead of next week's first Test against Australia.

Wicketkeeper-batsman de Villiers had been forced to pull out of the opening two days of South Africa's three-day match against a South African Invitational XI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg because of a slow recovery from surgery on his left hand that was undertaken about five weeks ago.

On Thursday, however, de Villiers, ranked the world's top batsman in both Tests and one-dayers, made a surprise appearance at number nine in South Africa's second innings.

The 29-year-old shared a half-century partnership with Faf du Plessis compiled as his teammate reached 102 not out. When du Plessis retired immediately after reaching his milestone de Villiers batted on, making an unbeaten 40 from 99 minutes and 65 balls before South Africa declared at 7-243, with a mammoth lead of 408.

Steyn bowled a total of 16 overs in his first match back from a rib injury he suffered in the Boxing Day Test. Bowling coach Allan Donald was adamant he was on track to lead the Proteas attacking against Australia. The Sydney Morning herald reports.

(Posted on 07-02-2014)

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