Cape Town - Former Proteas all-rounder Shaun Pollock says Cricket South Africa (CSA) must persuade AB de Villiers to return to Test cricket following their poor tour of England.
The Proteas are nearing the end of a disastrous England tour, which has seen them lose the ODI series 2-1, the T20I series 2-1, a first round ICC Champions Trophy exit and a 3-1 Test series loss as well.
De Villiers has not played Test cricket for South Africa since last January's home series against England.
Since then De Villiers has returned to the shorter format of the game, captaining the Proteas in the ODI and T20I series against England and disappointing Champions Trophy.
De Villiers, who has recovered from an elbow injury, ruled himself out of the New Zealand, England and the upcoming Bangladesh Test series'.
Pollock, who is commentating on the Test series, believes that in order for the Proteas to get back to winning ways, they need their No 1 batsman.
"But I definitely think they've got to go down the route of trying to convince AB de Villiers, even if it is just for six months for those two big tours, that he needs to make himself available," said Pollock on the Cricket Writers podcast.
"Then, the next step would be to try and find someone consistent at the top of the order. I think those are the two big challenges for the South Africans."
"They (Proteas batsmen) have been disappointing, even the form players have shown little bits and pieces of what they're capable of, but no one really has gone and gotten big scores consistently," Pollock said.
De Villiers said that he planned to meet up with Cricket South Africa in August after the completion of the England tour to "make a final decision about what happens for the next few years".
Since making his debut in 2004, De Villiers has scored 8 074 runs in 106 Tests - including 21 hundreds - at an average of 50.46.