South Africa comes before IPL for AB de Villiers
What's the story?
AB de Villiers stated that South African cricket is his priority and he wishes to play for his national side across all the formats of the game. He also put to rest all speculations about putting an end to his Test career.
Talking about his inclination towards playing for South Africa he said, "For me, South Africa always comes first. IPL has been an incredible lesson for me and my family. I have enjoyed every second of my stay in India and hopefully, there are many more years to come. But cricket in South Africa will always be the top priority for me and I think it's the same for any South African. Once those corners are cut off and you realize you can't represent the country anymore and the chances are less, I have no problem with someone going to play cricket elsewhere."
He was also asked his opinion on the India-South Africa Test series scheduled to be held in January. Uncertain about his selection in the Test team, he said, "Firstly, I haven't played for a while in the Test arena. So it's not my decision whether I am going to be on the team or not. Hopefully, I will be selected. No one has got the right to just walk into a team.I want to be in the best possible form to be selected in the Test side.
"The series against India is going to be great.They have given us a run for the money when we last played in South Africa in 2013. Hopefully, I will be with the boys on the park to compete against some of my opponents and also teammates (IPL) from India," he added.
In case you didn't know...
ABD's absence from Test cricket caused many raised eyebrows. His last Test was against England in January 2016.
It was expected that he would soon announce his retirement from Test cricket - and then, he stated that he wants to focus only on the 2019 World Cup.
However, in a recent video, he confirmed that he will not retire from any format. Instead, he stepped down from the captaincy and made himself available for all the upcoming fixtures of South Africa.
ABD also spoke about his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate, Virat Kohli. He stated that he enjoys batting with the Indian skipper on the other side, hailed his partnership with Kohli against the Gujrat Lions and said that it was special.
He then went on to say that Kohli is the best player in his own way and the two share a mutual respect for each other and the game.
He also talked about his time off the field that he used to trace all the incidents from his twelve-year-old career. De Villiers felt that this break helped him to revive from the constant mistakes that he made and now he feels refresh and ready to return to the field.
After stepping down from captaincy, ABD is now available for selection in the team for all the formats. It will be interesting to see if CSA includes him in the national side for their upcoming fixtures.
ABD is one of the finest batsmen of this generation. Since the time he began playing, he has constantly elevated the standards of the game.
His prolonged absence from the game irked his critics and disappointed his fans. Moreover, his performance was not up to his own standards.
However, his recent take on the game has brought good news for CSA and his fans. Let's hope that he will once again recreate the magical spell on the field that he is known for.