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De Villiers to lead as SA gamble on injured De Kock

Johannesburg, Jan 8: Injured wicketkeeper–batsman Quinton de Kock has been included in South Africa’s 15–man squad for the cricket World Cup, starting Feb 14.

De Kock, 22, tore a ligament in his right ankle while warming up during the first Test against the West Indies Dec 19 and is still recovering from its effects.

“Quinton de Kock is the only injury concern at the moment,” Andrew Hudson, Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection committee convener said Wednesday.

"Our medical committee has backed his inclusion in the squad at this stage so there is confidence that he will be ready for the tourment."

The squad picked by Cricket South Africa was otherwise at full strength, led by captain AB de Villiers, vice–captain Hashim Amla, and fast bowling leader Dale Steyn.

There were no major surprises in the squad, but two changes were made from the team that was beaten 1–4 in Australia in November with injured duo of left–handed batsman Jean Paul Duminy and spinner Aaron Phangiso returning.

“There are eight players with previous World Cup experience – De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir – so we feel we have a nice blend of experience of major knock–out tourments plus the freshness that will come from the relative newcomers.

The squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla (vice captain), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn. IANS

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Ankur Kalita

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