I watch every ball on TV before I go out to bat: AB de Villiers
What makes AB de Villiers a class apart from other batsmen? The 30-year-old averages 52.09 in Tests, 52.39 in ODIs and is one of the most sought-after players in the T20 circuit. Following his record-breaking 44-ball 149 in an ODI against West Indies at Johannesburg yesterday, De Villiers said that every time he walks out to bat, he would go in with a plan after having analysed the game till that point.
The South African captain, before being dismissed in the last over, had broken the world records for the fastest fifty and fastest hundred, besides levelling the world record for the most number of sixes in an ODI innings.
'A batsman needs to take the initiative'
De Villiers, speaking after the match, explained how he approaches an innings.
He said: "I sit in front of the TV and I watch every ball when we bat and I try and look at what's happening. I walk out there knowing how I want to play my innings, but it's very rare I walk out there thinking I am going to go at 200 strike rate from ball one. Today was one of those games and still, I needed a lot of luck to bat the way I did."
The right-hander, admitting that he usually premeditates a few of his shots, said that batsmen need to make sure that bowlers don't dictate terms.
He said: You have to sort of read the game a little bit to see what the bowler is trying to do. You can't just let him bowl at you, you have to try and take the initiative and put him under a bit of pressure. I don't know how many balls I faced, I premeditated but you've got to take the initiative and take the attack to the bowler, instead of him bowling to you."
‘To win the World Cup, you need to believe you are the best’
De Villiers said that a team needs to go into the World Cup thinking it is the best if it has to be crowned as the World Champions and that South Africa will do the same with the ICC Cricket World Cup approaching.
He said: "Performances like this helps the confidence. That's what I believe 80 or 90% of sport is about - believing in yourself as a team and as an individual and you can see the difference between teams that play with confidence and teams that don't. I'd like to believe we are getting more confidence behind us.”
That's what this series is all about: for us to play well and get confidence and to go to the World Cup believing we are the best in the world. No team has ever won the World Cup not thinking they are the best. You've got to believe you are the best and I think we are close to that."