Russell Domingo convinced me to go in at No. 3: AB de Villiers
Following his breathtaking 44-ball 149 in a One Day International (ODI) match against West Indies at Johannesburg on January 19, South African ODI captain AB de Villiers has said that he had no pressure on him – as the team had 9 wickets in hand by the time he walked out to the crease – and that helped him go berserk on the opposition. Before being dismissed in the final over, De Villiers had broken the world records for the fastest ODI fifty and ODI hundred and levelled the record for the most number of sixes in an ODI innings.
With the scoreboard reading 247-1 in 38.3 overs after the fall of Rilee Rossouw (115-ball 128), De Villiers decided to promote himself ahead of Faf du Plessis in an attempt to increase the scoring rate, and he did in a never seen before way, scoring his 50 off 16 balls, 100 off 31 balls and hitting 16 sixes, to take his team to 439/2 in 50 overs.
The visitors, in return, could only manage 291/7 in 50 overs.
De Villiers wanted Miller to bat at No. 3
De Villiers, speaking after the match, revealed that he wanted David Miller to be promoted instead, but it was Russell Domingo, the South African head coach, who convinced that the 30-year-old was a better option.
He said: "I approached Russell Domingo about four or five times saying, 'Are you sure me and not David Miller?' and he said 'Yes, sure,' and then two or three overs later, Sulieman Benn came back and I went to Russell for a final time and said 'Maybe him now?' and he still said, 'No, you'.
“Russell feels I can inject us with fuel, momentum, which I can do but I just felt David could do it better. It was just my day."
Wickets in hand helped De Villiers unleash himself
Not a single player in the history of ODIs has faced 20 balls and more and still scored at a strike-rate of 300+ before that point, but De Villiers scored his 149 at an SR of 338.63.
On how he made it possible, De Villiers said: "My thinking was just to be aggressive. I had no pressure on me. I could free up nicely, knowing that if I get out, there are quite a few guys to come who could hit the ball.”
He added: "You don't very often just come in and get momentum behind you right away. More often than not, you've got to work for it. Today was an exception. Out of nowhere, you hit a couple in the middle and then start going. Sometimes you've got to work harder to get that sniff, or get that click. Today it just happened from the word go."
"On this kind of wicket and on this field, if you're in decent kind of form and you swing hard and you get a bit of luck behind you, you can do amazing things."
South Africa lead the 5-match bilateral series 2-0, and the third ODI will be played in East London on January 21.