South Africa were dealt with a heavy blow even before the start of the three-match T20I series against India after AB de Villiers was ruled out of the entire series because of a knee injury.

South Africa stand-in T20 captain JP Duminy revealed during the toss of the first T20I that de Villiers hurt his knee during the fifth ODI at Centurion.

However, Cricket South Africa cleared the air on the extent of the injury by stating the decision was more a precautionary measure than a serious concern.

“He suffered a blow to the knee while batting ahead of the fifth ODI, and although he passed a fitness test on Friday, the injury worsened significantly throughout the match,” Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa’s team manager, said.

South Africa will play a four-match Test series against Australia, for which the Steve Smith-led side has already arrived and the team management decided not to take any chances with the fitness of their main-man de Villiers.

CSA chose not to name any replacement for the injured de Villiers for the T20 series. This is not the first time de Villiers is missing out matches in against India. He was ruled out of the first three ODIs with a finger injury.

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