AB de Villiers feels winning close matches is more important than personal milestones
South African skipper says he is 'lucky' to have played 200 ODIs for his country
There is something about rain and AB de Villiers. After his 100th Test had been washed out last year, the 32-year-old’s 200th ODI for South Africa was abandoned as well. However, the man himself did not seem too perturbed about nature’s intervention with cricket.
Speaking to reporters from the Caribbean where his team is currently on top of the table in the tri-series, de Villiers believed that he was ‘lucky’ to have represented the Proteas in as many matches.
He felt, "I'm not too fussed about that kind of thing, the fact that it rained off. I take it one game at a time. It's a nice milestone and a way to look back over my career – how lucky I've been to have played so many games and to have been around for so long. It is a great privilege and an honor to represent this country and to have played for that long.”
Despite beginning the tournament with a poor performance against West Indies, South Africa have rebounded quickly by lifting their game in crunch moments. For a team which does not react to pressure in a positive manner, it augurs well for the future.
de Villiers enthused, “The close games we've won as a team mean more than personal milestones. Those are the kind of things I'll look back to and think I'm a really fortunate man. We've played quite a few really close series in the past, like this one, where we've had a few must-win games.”
The multi-dimensional batsman added, “We enjoy those kind of situations. We like to bring the fight when it matters most. It's a great opportunity for us to prove that we are that kind of team under pressure.”
A major reason behind their turnaround has been Imran Tahir’s guile on spinning pitches. With the action shifting to pace-friendly surfaces in Barbados, he was not too concerned about the team balance.
de Villiers affirmed, “Imran Tahir could bowl on glass at the moment, he's in great form. So, I was never going to leave him out of the side. We also have four world-class seam bowlers to do the business.”
Looking ahead to the vital clash on Friday, he noted, “The energy changes from day to day. I'll try and assess that again at training and when we arrive here that morning for that big, must-win game.”