South Africa once again failed to deliver as they succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Pakistan on Sunday which means the side can no longer make it past the group stages and it signals the end of yet another unsuccessful World Cup campaign for the Proteas. With just one win out of seven games, South Africa's woes with consistency and the 'chokers' tag still continue to haunt them despite having a balanced team or a version of balanced that they attempted to maintain.
One question that will haunt the Proteas is that should AB de Villiers have been included in the Playing XI for the World Cup? Could he have turned the fortunes for the downtrodden South African side? AB de Villiers had formally requested the South Africa Cricket Board to consider him for the squad but was rejected because he retired over a year ago and did not meet the required selection criteria. Further, the board also informed DeVilliers that they did not want to let down other players who were training for the World Cup for more than a year.
The former skipper had retired in May 2018 from all formats of the game, leaving the South African side high and dry. The experienced cricketer provided guidance and power to the side alongside his explosive batting prowess that would give a nightmare for the bowlers. Nicknamed Mr 360, de Villiers was known for his notorious striking power, sending the ball across the boundaries all around the park.
ABD has an impressive record of 9577 runs at an average of 53.50 and has played 228 matches in the ODI format from 2005 onwards. The big hitter had also fuelled speculations of returning to the national side while he was playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, scoring 442 runs at an average of 44.20 in the IPL this year. He has the 10th-most scored total centuries(47) among international cricketers.
After South Africa's 49-run loss to Pakistan, some netizens took to social media to express Proteas' need to have the star included in their squad. Read some of the reactions here: