Amla challenges de Villiers to inspire victory in 100th Test


Hashim Amla is looking for AB de Villiers to make a match-winning contribution in his 100th Test when injury-hit South Africa attempt to level the series against India in Bangalore.

De Villiers, the world's top-ranked Test batsman, has scored 21 Test hundreds in his outstanding career and will bring up a century of appearances in the longest form of the game at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.

De Villiers has been the Proteas' match-winner on many occasions down the years and they will need the classy right-hander to rise to the occasion in the second Test of the four-match series.

India won the first Test in Mohali by 108 runs inside three days last week and captain Amla said De Villiers' landmark appearance will not affect their chances of responding with a victory.

He said: "No it does not (distract the focus of the team). Hopefully, he gets into the park tomorrow and wins the game for us - that will be [the] ideal match for him and us.

"Having lost the previous match, obviously it is not difficult for us to focus on this match. It's been great to have something to celebrate, but in terms of taking our focus away, no I don't think so.

"As a team, we all enjoy the fact that AB is playing his 100th game. As a South African, we know that this is an amazing feat. We have all celebrated the occasion."

South Africa's preparations were rocked when Vernon Philander damaged ankle ligaments playing football in a training session and will play no part in the rest of the series, while premier paceman Dale Steyn misses out due to a groin injury.

Kyle Abbott flew in to replace Philander this week, while Morne Morkel and JP Duminy are set to return after being ruled out of the first Test due to injury.

While South Africa will be missing two key quicks, India welcome back Ishant Sharma from suspension - much to the delight of captain Virat Kohli.

"With Ishant coming in, he brings a lot of experience," said Kohli.

"He has bowled well in the subcontinent conditions, knows how to reverse swing the ball and can lead the pace attack.

"We just have to figure out according to the pitch and the conditions who will be doing the bulk of the bowling and at what stage of the game. I am very delighted that Ishant is back.

"The way he has been bowling - the way he bowled in Sri Lanka - he will bring a lot to the table."