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18-Jan-2017 08:42:00 GMT
South Africa in New Zealand 2016-17

AB de Villiers to miss New Zealand Test series

Johannesburg: South African batting star AB de Villiers said today he had decided not to make himself available for a Test series in New Zealand in March but stressed that he had not retired from Test cricket.

De Villiers, who turns 33 next month, said his main goal for the rest of his career was to lead South Africa at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.

"We haven't won a World Cup yet," said De Villiers, who is captain of the South African one-day team.

"For me, for now the most important thing is the 2019 World Cup. I want to make sure we get there. I want to make sure we lift that trophy. I feel that if I play all formats all the time, then mentally and physically I won't be at my best."

Speaking at a launch for a one-day series against Sri Lanka, De Villiers said he was available for five one-day games in New Zealand next month but would return home before the first of three Tests starts on March 8.

De Villiers is recovering from a long-term elbow injury which has kept him out of action since July.

He is due to make a low-key comeback in a one-day match for the Northerns provincial team on Sunday.

De Villiers, who has made 8074 runs in 106 Tests at an average of 50.46, was named as Test captain after the resignation of Hashim Amla last January.

But after his injury kept him out of series against New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka, he gave up the Test captaincy in favour of former schoolmate Faf du Plessis.

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