Cape Town - AB de Villiers will be used at the top of the order in next month's ICC World Twenty20 in India.
That was confirmed by captain Faf du Plessis in Cape Town on Thursday as the South Africans wrapped up preparations for Friday's opening T20I against England at Newlands.
But while Du Plessis dropped a strong hint that De Villiers would open the innings on the sub-continent, there is also the possibility of him coming in at No 3.
De Villiers opened the batting in last October's T20 series in India, batted at three at home to New Zealand last August and then opened in Bangladesh last July.
"We’ve tried a lot of things and a lot of the stuff has
worked. AB has been batting up at the top for the last three series so I don’t
see that changing," Du Plessis said.
"He’s an x-factor player. It’s definitely something that we
see as a wildcard for the World Cup.
"He’s one of those players that can take
the game away on any day. It’s something that we’re optimistic about … backing
him in that role."
But what role? Opening the batting or coming in at No 3?
Du Plessis helped explain that by revealing where he sees himself in the batting line-up.
"If AB opens I’ll be at three. That was only ever going to
change if it was the other way around (Du Plessis opening and De Villiers batting at 3)."
So, if one of Du Plessis or De Villiers opens the innings while the other comes in at No 3, then what does that mean for Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock?
De Kock must surely be given license to go at the new ball, so does that mean that Amla finds himself out of the mix?
Time will tell, but Du Plessis already has a good idea of who he wants stepping out onto the field against England in South Africa's World Twenty20 opener on March 18.
do know what our best team is. That’s the great things about how plans have unfolded
over the last year and a half," he said.
Play on Friday starts at 18:00.