Uncapped trio Anrich Nortje, Senuran Muthusamy and Rudi Second have been included in South Africa's Test squad for the tour of India, while Quinton de Kock will captain the Twenty20 side.

Paceman Nortje, all-rounder Muthusamy and wicketkeeper-batsman Second were among the 15 players selected for a three-match series in October.

There are also three new faces in the squad for three contests in the shortest format, with batsman Temba Bavuma, spinning all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin and Nortje getting the nod.

Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi were omitted from the T20 squad as they will be warming up for the Tests by playing in a four-day match against India A.

Faf du Plessis will continue to skipper the Test side, but he will not feature in the T20 series, so De Kock leads the side and Rassie van der Dussen will be his vice-captain.

Bavuma will be Du Plessis' deputy in the Test series, with Enoch Nkwe installed as interim team director following head coach Ottis Gibson's sacking after a poor Cricket World Cup for the Proteas.

Hashim Amla last week retired from international cricket after Dale Steyn called time on his Test career.

 

Test match squad: Faf du Plessis (captain) Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second (VKB Knights).

  T20 squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.

Faf du Plessis will stay on as South Africa's Test captain, though a new skipper could well be selected for the one-day side.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a restructuring of the Proteas team on Sunday, confirming Ottis Gibson, whose exit was first announced on Sunday, would not be coach for the upcoming tour of India.

South Africa endured a disappointing World Cup campaign, winning three out of nine matches as they were eliminated in the group stage.

A CSA statement also hinted that an interim captain could be selected ahead of the India tour, but acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl has confirmed Du Plessis will keep his role for the Test team, if not the ODI side.

"Faf will be the captain of the Test team and then we will talk about the white-ball strategy to 2023 and how that will affect decision-making," Van Zyl told a news conference.

"It's important to look forward to 2023 as well. We need a strategy to 2023, so in terms of appointing the captain we will look at how we approach that. We are having a selection meeting in the next day and a half to confirm that."

Meanwhile, CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe indicated the search for a new coach may take longer than initially anticipated.

"We will try to make sure that before the English tour starts [in December], we will have permanent employees in place," Moroe said.

"But this is a different environment, so depending on who the director of cricket is talking to, that might delay the deadline. We've set the deadline but might not meet it."

Australia have drafted in Matthew Wade and Mitch Marsh as cover as they wait to learn the full extent of injuries to Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis ahead of the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

Khawaja sustained a hamstring injury in Australia's defeat to South Africa in Manchester on Saturday and his chances of playing against England at Edgbaston on Thursday appear slim.

Captain Aaron Finch was slightly more optimistic Stoinis' side problem was not as severe when addressing the injuries at a post-match news conference.

But Australia are leaving nothing to chance, with wicketkeeper-batsman Wade and all-rounder Marsh brought across from their A team, who begin a four-day match with Sussex on Sunday.

Marsh was also brought into the fold earlier in the tournament when Stoinis sustained a side strain against India, but he recovered to face Bangladesh.

Khawaja and Stoinis are set to undergo scans on their injuries on Sunday.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will make a decision on his ODI future "in front of a fireplace with a glass or red wine" after his century set up a Cricket World Cup win over Australia.

Du Plessis made exactly 100 at Old Trafford on Saturday as the Proteas beat the holders, who fell short on 315 all out in reply to 325-6, by 10 runs in the last group game of the tournament.

The skipper stated ahead of the game that he would consider his international future in the 50-over format after leading his country in England and Wales.

Du Plessis hinted that he may continue his ODI career after a victory which ensured Australia will face England, rather than New Zealand, in a semi-final at Edgbaston next Thursday, but gave no guarantees.

Asked whether he had played his last ODI, he said: "I don't know right now. As I said before the previous, or the before the game yesterday, I love playing for South Africa but the big thing for me is to have purpose as a leader.

"I don't want to just play games for the sake of playing games. When I play I want to make sure I'm motivated to keep doing it and right now sitting here I am still, very very much motivated.

"I decided way before this World Cup that I was going to play the World Cup, win or lose, good or bad, and then after the tournament sit down and just like anything just relook at what how hungry you are, how motivated, what has Cricket South Africa, what is their plans?

"So those things will happen over the next three, four weeks. But I really enjoyed today so it will be hard to walk away from the feeling of today and playing international cricket.

"But that will probably be decided in front of a fireplace with a glass of red wine in my hand."

As the sun set on South Africa's Cricket World Cup campaign, the Proteas landed a parting blow on old foes Australia on a glorious evening at Old Trafford.  

Faf du Plessis called for a show of pride from his side in their last game of what has been a miserable tournament and he got it on Saturday.

Du Plessis led by example with South Africa's first century of the World Cup, scoring exactly 100 with great support from Rassie van der Dussen (95).

Australia fell short on 315 in reply to 325-6 in a pulsating final group match, so the holders must pack their bags and head to Birmingham to face England in a semi-final at Edgbaston next Thursday rather than stay in Manchester to take on New Zealand.

South Africa have long since been out of contention for a place in the last four, but they left their mark despite another brilliant hundred from David Warner (122) and Alex Carey's brutal 85.

You would have thought it was Du Plessis' men bound for the semi-finals rather than Australia given the way they celebrated what was an eighth win in the last nine ODIs between the two fierce rivals.

As Imran Tahir and JP Duminy marched off the field after ending their ODI careers on a high note, the defending champions looked like a team that had let an opportunity slip through their fingers.

Usman Khawaja is highly unlikely to face England after suffering another hamstring injury, while Marcus Stoinis is a doubt with a side problem.

Shaun Marsh suffered a fractured forearm in a damaging week when he was struck by a ball from Pat Cummins in the nets, so Peter Hanscomb may be thrown straight into the heat of a showdown with the hosts.

Australia will at least have an extra two days to prepare for a blockbuster last-four clash with Eoin Morgan's men and in Warner they have a player at his brilliant best.

The opener should have been run out in the first over when Kagiso Rabada threw to the wrong end capitalised on that let-off by crafting a third hundred of the tournament.

A busy Warner batted with power, skill and great application in his first match against South Africa since a ball-tampering fiasco at Newlands which resulted in him being banned for a year.

There were more boos and jeers for Steve Smith and Warner in Manchester, where South Africa fans must have been left with mixed feelings, wondering why the Proteas left it so late to show what they can do.

Australia must regroup and Warner could have a major say in whether they shatter England's hopes of being crowned champions for the first time on home soil. 

Usman Khawaja's Cricket World Cup may well be over after he suffered an apparent hamstring injury in Australia's defeat to South Africa.

Khawaja retired hurt before being forced to return in the 10-run reverse to the Proteas on Saturday, scoring 18 before diverting the ball onto the top of his stumps.

Captain Aaron Finch was pessimistic about Khawaja's condition in the post-match presentation, with a scan set for Sunday.

"It doesn't look ideal for Usman Khawaja at the moment," he said. "We'll have to wait and see.

"He's going to have a scan in the morning and we'll make a call based on what the results are there."

Marcus Stoinis also looked to be struggling, although Finch was slightly more positive on that front, but Australia at least have their A team on hand should either player need to be replaced.

"I'm not sure [on Stoinis]," Finch said. "At the moment, it feels okay. But until you get the definitive scans, it's tough to know.

"The whole Australia A squad is here, the four-day guys and the one-day guys. So if they need to be replaced, which I imagine Usman will, there's plenty of guys to come in."

The loss to South Africa saw Australia slip below India, winners against Sri Lanka, into second to set up a crunch semi-final with rivals and hosts England.

Finch added: "It doesn't get much bigger than that: England v Australia in a World Cup semi-final. Hopefully it's a great game."

Meanwhile, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was left rueing his side's failure to produce such impressive performances earlier in the tournament.

Du Plessis himself scored 100 against Australia, but South Africa have long been out of contention after a dismal start to the group phase.

"After the tournament is when we start scratching our heads and try to figure it out," he said of his side's issues. "It's inconsistent cricket.

"To be in the semi-finals, especially now with this new four-team format, you have to be at your best for most of the tournament.

"If you're not, you need guys to lift the team and win games almost on their own. We weren't at our best as a team and we had guys not doing enough to get us over the line."

David Warner's superb 122 was in vain as Australia lost a thriller by 10 runs to South Africa, a result that means the Cricket World Cup holders will face England in the semi-finals.

India's defeat of Sri Lanka earlier on Saturday meant Australia had to win in Manchester to avoid the hosts in the last four and instead book a clash with trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

But in the final match of the group stage the Proteas produced one of the best team performances of the tournament so far to inflict Australia's second defeat of the competition.

Faf du Plessis made South Africa's first century of the World Cup and his 12th in ODI cricket. The former Lancashire batsman thrived with a masterful round 100 on his return to Old Trafford as South Africa posted an imposing 325 for six.

Rassie van der Dussen (95) almost followed his captain to three figures, trying to heave a six off Pat Cummins' last ball of the South Africa innings, but instead picked out Glenn Maxwell in the deep.

Warner should then have been run out by Kagiso Rabada (3-56) in the first over of Australia's reply - the opener facing South Africa for the first time since last year's ball-tampering scandal - and he seemed set to take full advantage of that lapse.

When Quinton de Kock, who made 52 and ran out Marcus Stoinis, produced a majestic catch off Chris Morris' bowling to remove Maxwell for 12, Australia were 119 for four and heading for an eighth loss in nine ODIs against South Africa, only for Warner and Alex Carey to rebuild.

But a wonderful flying Morris catch saw Warner depart as he looked to find fifth gear and, when explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Carey fell to Morris for a buccaneering 85 off 69 balls, Australia were on the brink of defeat.

Usman Khawaja (18) bravely returned to the crease after earlier retiring hurt with an apparent hamstring injury, but diverted the ball on to the top of the stumps while playing a scoop and South Africa closed out their third win of the World Cup.

STARC ON BRINK OF HISTORY

The leader of Australia's attack was not at his best in Manchester, Mitchell Starc's first ball going for four wides in a wayward opening over that cost 14 runs and gave the Proteas a flying start.

But a yorker that ripped through Dwaine Pretorius' defences gave Starc his 26th wicket of the tournament, moving him level with Australia great Glenn McGrath as the most prolific bowler in a single World Cup.

With at least one knockout match still to play, the 29-year-old is almost certain to sit top of the pile regardless of whether or not Australia successfully defend their title, while his late efforts with the bat - hitting 16 off 11 balls - almost set up an improbable victory.

 


WARNER PASSES 600 BUT ROHIT LEADS

There is no doubt Warner is having a quite brilliant World Cup - this was his third century - but despite passing 600 runs for the tournament he is second behind India opener Rohit Sharma in the batting tables.

A third century in four ODI appearances against the Proteas was fully deserved as he punished Rabada's mistake and, if Australia are to win the tournament for a sixth time, there is no doubting Warner holds the key.

He will certainly relish a clash with pre-tournament favourites England. That match will take place on Thursday at Edgbaston, where Eoin Morgan's side have a terrific record.


DUMINY & TAHIR WAVE GOODBYE

There was a winning farewell for veteran Proteas duo JP Duminy and Imran Tahir as both men played their final ODI matches for South Africa.

Tahir was able to roll out his famous celebration when he claimed the prized wicket of Australia captain Aaron Finch for three but he later missed a caught and bowled chance to remove Carey, which could have proven costly.

Duminy's contribution - scoring only 14 runs and taking no wickets from four overs - was more low-key but the Proteas will miss his all-round efforts as they look to rebuild after an underwhelming World Cup that at least ended on a high.

Faf du Plessis acknowledged a dominant nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka was "bittersweet" for South Africa at the Cricket World Cup.

The Proteas had already been knocked out of the tournament, having won just one of their first seven matches to end semi-final ambitions, but they rediscovered form in spectacular fashion at Chester-le-Street on Thursday.

Dwaine Pretorius was influential with the ball, taking 3-25 to help limit Sri Lanka to 203, and then Du Plessis made 96 not out and Hashim Amla an unbeaten 80 in a match-winning 175 partnership.

It was a superb win but one that captain Du Plessis admitted was too little too late.

"It's been a long time coming," he said in the post-match presentation. "It was a good game. We did ourselves justice with the talent we have in that dressing room.

"We were set up today by a really good bowling performance. I thought Dwaine was exceptional - we've been trying to get him into the team so badly but, from a combination point of view, it was really tough.

"Today, he came in at the expense of Lungi [Ngidi] and he did a really, really good job."

Already-eliminated South Africa dealt a big blow to Sri Lanka's Cricket World Cup semi-final hopes with a dominant nine-wicket win at the Riverside on Friday.

Sri Lanka were just two points behind fourth-placed England with a game in hand coming into this clash, yet they were completely overmatched as a paltry target of 204 was eaten up by Hashim Amla (80 not out) and Faf du Plessis (96 no).

The 1996 champions had recovered to 67-1 after captain Dimuth Karunaratne fell to Kagiso Rabada from the first ball of the match, but they were quickly reined back in.

The 57-ball partnership of Avishka Fernando (30) and Kusal Perera (30) was crucially broken by Dwaine Pretorius, who then took 3-25 as the South African bowlers took control.

After Sri Lanka had stuttered to 203 all out with three balls unused, having failed to get another combination moving under pressure from Rabada (2-36), the Proteas cruised in reply.

Lasith Malinga intervened with an early trademark yorker to Quinton de Kock, but Amla then sauntered to a half-century and Du Plessis soon followed.

Amla even bizarrely survived an lbw call when he begrudgingly reviewed and started to walk, only to retreat when tracking showed the ball was pitching outside leg, summing up a miserable day for Sri Lanka.

The partnership remained unbroken on 175 as South Africa reached 206-1 with more than 12 overs remaining.

Sri Lanka face West Indies and then India to close out the first round but could now see England, Bangladesh and Pakistan all pull clear ahead of them.

 

Pretorius leads Proteas attack

With just a single win to their name coming into this match, South Africa at least restored some pride with a fine bowling display. Pretorious was the star man, getting Fernando in good time and later removing Kusal Mendis in a wicket-maiden. His team-mates contributed too, though, as Rabada remained economical, Chris Morris picked up 3-46 and JP Duminy took a wicket with his first ball.

Riverside abuzz on 2019 CWC bow

If Sri Lanka fans were feeling a little low amid their batting display, they at least did not sink as far as the players. Both teams were comically left lying prone on the Riverside pitch as a swarm of bees interrupted play late in the first innings.

Lions let big chance slip

With a game in hand over the three other teams fighting for fourth place and facing an out-of-sorts South Africa side, a semi-final place was still realistic for Sri Lanka coming into this one. That may no longer be the case. They batted poorly but then also offered little resistance with the ball in a dismal showing.

Faf du Plessis believes South Africa have failed to do themselves justice at the Cricket World Cup, after a 49-run defeat to Pakistan extinguished their semi-final hopes.

Defeats to England, Bangladesh, India and New Zealand had left South Africa needing a victory at Lord's on Sunday to stand any chance of securing progression to the last four.

But they never looked likely to threaten Pakistan's haul of 308-7, and the Proteas ultimately finished on 259-9.

Without the injured Dale Steyn, South Africa have failed to impress, and captain Du Plessis suggested a crisis in confidence is the reason for their meek displays.

"We're not playing well, not playing good cricket," Du Plessis, who scored 63, said at the post-match presentation.

"We're not doing ourselves justice as a team, with the skill that's in that dressing room.

"We started poorly with the ball and gave them a good start. And once again we made the same mistakes with the bat, guys getting in and then getting out.

"We need to have a good start but we haven't had that. We're losing a wicket early almost all of the time. That's been the nature through the tournament, the timing of the wickets.

"We're struggling with confidence, especially in our batting line-up. Confidence in sport is an amazing thing.

"When you're playing well, the ball just falls more for you. Our confidence is low after a few games and everything becomes a little bit more challenging, especially playing against a quality team like Pakistan."

One player who has impressed for South Africa is Imran Tahir, who became the Proteas' leading wicket-taker in World Cup history when he sent Iman-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman back to the pavilion.

"He has been amazing," Du Plessis said of Tahir. "He has been exceptional throughout this tournament, he's played with a lot of heart and he's led our bowling attack.

"He has been consistent in every game. But there hasn't been enough guys standing up like him and that's why we find ourselves in this position."

While South Africa will be heading home once the group stage is complete, Pakistan – who have games against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to come – have a glimmer of hope of making the semi-finals, though captain Sarfraz Ahmed concedes his side, who dropped several catches during the Proteas' innings, must improve in the field.

"We have to work hard on our fielding," Sarfraz said. "Again we dropped so many catches today, so we have to sort these things out to win against top teams."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson saluted team-mate Colin de Grandhomme after a tense four-wicket win over South Africa at the Cricket World Cup.

Williamson and De Grandhomme compiled the 91-run match-defining partnership before the latter was dismissed for 60 from 47 balls with victory in sight at Edgbaston.

A six followed by a four from Williamson saw New Zealand home with three balls to spare, and he was predictably named man of the match after reaching 106 not out.

However, Williamson preferred to praise De Grandhomme, whose quickfire runs gave the Black Caps momentum at a crucial stage of the contest.

"Colin de Grandhomme stood out for me today, in terms of with the ball and then the impetus he came and showed with the bat was really special," Williamson said.

"It was a superb knock from him."

Williamson said of his own task with the bat: "It's trying to do the job as well as you can, and I was fortunate I was able to do it today. There were a number of other contributions that were so vital throughout the innings.

"Today was a really close match - could have gone either way - but it was nice to get a win."

New Zealand remain unbeaten and look to be heading to the semi-finals. Williamson's opposite number Faf du Plessis, by contrast, is facing World Cup elimination with South Africa.

Du Plessis said after a fourth defeat of his team's campaign: "Performances haven't been there. Individually we would have liked to have taken on more responsibility to put on performances that could drive the team home but it hasn't been there.

"But we are fighting as a team and I think you saw that today."

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has challenged his team to save their Cricket World Cup skins by taking ownership of a group-stage crisis.

The 34-year-old said hope alone would get the Proteas nowhere and instructed his slow-starting stars to search within themselves and pull out a string of performances.

Defeats to England, Bangladesh and India - and a rained-off clash with West Indies - have left South Africa in a dire position and with Du Plessis demanding wins from all five of their remaining matches.

On Saturday they face Afghanistan in Cardiff, and another off-day could inflict a fatal blow to their semi-final hopes.

Du Plessis said he has experienced no greater challenge in his tenure as captain, and his man-management skills have been put to an extreme test.

"It's just been checking in with every guy individually ... and then just making sure that I make it clear to them that there needs to be purpose in what's coming up. You can't just hope for things to change," Du Plessis said on Friday.

"Hope's a very dangerous thing for me; you either make it happen [or you don't], the fact that you need to get yourself out of that space as quick as possible.

"And just finding different keys and different players where I feel that they can lead better in different departments, where they can take more responsibility, where they can take more ownership.

"So it's about trying to unlock players' best that is lying somewhere underneath them. Hopefully we can see a little bit of that coming out in the next few games."

South Africa will be hoping for clear skies in Cardiff and to find the display that earns a first victory, with New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia their remaining opponents.

"From a challenge, myself as a leader, this has been right up there," Du Plessis said. "But I suppose that's what the last two, three years of captaining this side has prepared me for.

"Whether it's good situations or bad situations, you try to mature as much as you can as a captain to try and be ready for when it's really, really tough because then the team looks to the leaders in the side.

"So it's a hard time, but it's also a time that I'm really owning up to the fact that I need to step up and make sure that I lead the team in a time when they need me."

Faf du Plessis has told his South Africa team they have no wiggle room following three World Cup defeats and must win their five remaining group games to stay in the hunt.

Pre-tournament ambitions have been shaken by losses against England, Bangladesh and India, and the Proteas will face the only other side without a win so far when they tackle Afghanistan on Saturday.

Proteas captain Du Plessis said a late decision would be made on the availability of pace bowler Lungi Ngidi, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury.

He earmarked Rashid Khan as the big bowling danger in the Afghanistan ranks, calling him "probably the best leg spinner in the world in T20 cricket" and telling his batsmen to play a careful game and "annihilate that threat".

Du Plessis said his players must put early defeats out of their mind, adding: "If we carry those ghosts of the last week with us, then it's going to be tough to get out of the hole."

South Africa's semi-final hopes look bleak, and Afghanistan would love to add to their problems by causing an upset in Cardiff. Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib indicated Rashid should be fit to play after recovering from being hit on the head by a bouncer from New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson last Saturday in Taunton.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

South Africa have had an awful time of things, with injuries biting and players under-performing. Their only point has come from the rained-off match against West Indies, who made the Proteas top order look brittle again before rain came in Southampton. Afghanistan came in hope of making a positive impression, dreaming of the semi-finals. A couple of wins against the more established nations must now be their moderated ambition, and they will fancy rattling South Africa.

WHAT THEY SAID

Faf du Plessis (South Africa captain): "Everyone has written the team off. So there's our backs against the wall as a team. So hopefully that will allow the guys to come out and play the way we want them to play and the way we can play. And I believe if we truly do that we'll be a dangerous team. But we haven't fully unlocked the potential that we do have in our side."

Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan captain): "If you look at our last three games and how we played, we didn't click in any department. We just need a good start to the match or to the innings. South Africa also lost three games. They're also struggling to make a good start. It's going to be a good game for cricket, I'm hoping. If we play good cricket, obviously in the end you will have a good result."

OPTA FACTS

- This will be the first match between South Africa and Afghanistan in ODI cricket. They have met on the international stage twice in the T20 format, with the Proteas winning both matches.

- South Africa have three losses and a no-result from their first four matches at this World Cup. A win on Saturday and they will be in the exact same position after five games as the 1992 Pakistan team who went on to win the tournament.

- Hashmatullah Shahidi needs 54 runs to reach 1,000 in ODIs, and he would become the ninth Afghanistan player to reach the milestone. He heads into this match after scoring 59 against New Zealand last time out.

- South Africa spinner Imran Tahir is set to bowl in an ODI for the 100th time. He has bowled 180 balls in this World Cup and is yet to be hit for a six. He is the only spinner to have bowled 100 or more balls and not be hit for a six at the tournament.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has revealed captain Faf du Plessis backed retired star AB de Villiers' late bid to be included in the Proteas' Cricket World Cup squad.

De Villiers retired from international cricket last year but reports emerged this week that he had attempted to return for the ongoing World Cup in England but was turned away.

The 35-year-old was not included in the squad and South Africa have subsequently lost their opening three matches, as well as suffering several early injury problems.

Chief selector Linda Zondi has now confirmed CSA's decision, explaining that De Villiers was not considered due to his absence from prior ODI matches.

However, Du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson were both keen to have De Villiers back, according to Zondi, who insists he does not regret the call.

"I pleaded with AB de Villiers not to retire in 2018," Zondi said in a statement.

"Although there was a perception that he was picking and choosing when to play - which was not true - I did give him the option to plan and monitor his season to get him to the World Cup fresh and in a good space.

"We made it clear that he would have to play during the home tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to be considered for selection, instead he signed to play in the Pakistan and Bangladesh Premier Leagues respectively.

"He turned down the offer and said he was at peace with his decision to retire.

"For Faf du Plessis and Ottis Gibson to share AB's desire to be included in the squad on the day we announced our World Cup squad on April 18 was a shock to all of us.

"AB left a big vacuum when he retired; we had a year to find players at franchise level to fill the gap. We had players who put in the hard work, who put up their hands and deserved to be given the opportunity to go to the World Cup.

"The decision was based on principle; we had to be fair to the team, the selection panel, our franchise system and players.

"At no point in the year that he had retired did he make himself available for selection. It was no option when I received the news on the day of the squad announcement, our squad was finalised and confirmed.

"AB is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, but above all else, we have to stay true to our morals and principles. There is no regret in the decision."

De Villiers was quick to turn attention to on-field matters with South Africa struggling to stay in the World Cup.

He tweeted on Thursday: "All that's important is that we should all focus on supporting the team at the World Cup.

"There is a long way to go and I believe the boys can still go all the way."

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis felt Kagiso Rabada was "extremely unlucky" to end up on the losing side in a six-wicket Cricket World Cup defeat to India.

The Proteas were missing quicks Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi through injury, but Rabada briefly threatened to turn the tide on his own.

Rabada, who had earlier cracked Shikhar Dhawan's bat, dismissed the opener to bring opposition captain Virat Kohli to the crease.

The South Africa paceman had earlier suggested Kohli was "immature" and a gripping spell saw him work over the batsman without reward.

Rabada ended up claiming 2-39 as Rohit Sharma made an unbeaten 122 in India's chase, leaving Du Plessis to rue his bowler's misfortune.

"[Rabada] was a champion today. He was extremely unlucky," the skipper said in the post-match presentation. "I've never seen so many balls fall in different areas.

"Sometimes, that's how the game goes. When you're not playing your best cricket, little 50-50 things go against you. We've got to try to make sure we turn those 50-50 towards us again.

"He was unbelievable again - and also Chris Morris, who hasn't played a lot of cricket for us, was excellent today."

Du Plessis was far less impressed by his side's batting, suggesting South Africa needed a player to perform like Rohit did for India after the Proteas stumbled to 227-9.

"Today was, once again, a great example of guys not batting through," he said.

"That's what you need in England - you need one guy batting through and then, if you get a total, your bowlers can put some pressure on. To have so many 30s and 40s was not acceptable."

However, Du Plessis gave some credit to India's attack, led by Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.

"I thought India were magnificent on a tough pitch," he said. "They bowled really well.

"Their bowling attack is strong - they've got all bases covered. They've got good fast bowling and then they've got spinners through the middle that always get wickets."

Page 1 of 2
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.