AB de Villiers © IANS
AB de Villiers © IANS

Pune: Notwithstanding the comprehensive win against Rajasthan Royals in their IPL Eliminator, AB de Villiers says Royal Challengers Bangalore will be wary of Chennai Super Kings in tomorrow’s qualifier 2 as they are a tough team to beat. “It is going to be a very difficult match. We know that CSK are a very good and tough team to beat. We would love to go to Ranchi and beat them. It would be amazing if we can then go a step further and win the trophy. Right now we have to take it step by step,” said de Villiers. CSK vs RCB, IPL 2015 Qualifier 2 at Ranchi: Preview

De Villiers hit a fighting 66 and shared a match-winning 113-run stand with Mandeep Singh (54 not out) as the Bangalore outfit recovered from a sluggish start to post a challenging 180 for four and eventually won by 71 runs against Rajasthan Royals here last night. But the hard-hitting South African batsman chose to give all the credit to his partner Mandeep for helping him to continue the momentum. “To be very honest I didn’t play very well today. I have to give all credit to Mandeep Singh for the way he played. It was not as fluent a knock as I wanted it to be but I guess it all comes with experience. I struggled in the first few overs but I fought it through and I was lucky to be there in the end to express myself,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by ‘iplt20.com’. AB de Villiers gifts his ‘Man of the match’ award to Mandeep Singh

Asked if his batting at No. 3 gives RCB a chance of winning, de Villiers said: “It does give me a chance to pace my innings and build it in cases like the one (against Rajasthan Royals). This wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on. I wouldn’t have been able to get those shots away in the slog overs had I just come in to bat. “I tried to do it earlier in my innings but I failed. That is why I say a lot of credit should go to Mandeep. He helped me get a bit of momentum by my side and it paid off.”  Virat Kohli lauds Mandeep Singh’s heroics

De Villiers said he was happy to play a part in the development of the youngsters in the side. “What would life be without having a good influence on other people? That is what it is all about. I am trying to make a positive influence on some young players in the team and if Mandeep says I have, it makes me a very happy man. It feels like I am achieving my goal, which ultimately is to make a positive contribution to the lives of people around me. “What impresses me the most about Mandeep is that he has a very cool head over his shoulders and he makes good decisions under pressure,” said de Villiers. Meanwhile Mandeep said he tries to emulate de Villiers. “Whatever he has taught me, I have straightaway incorporated those things in my game. It is already helping me in my game and I can see a lot of positive results in my batting,” admitted Mandeep.

Stating that it was is like a “dream come true” to be sharing a century stand with de Villiers, Mandeep said, “When we were just around 60 runs in 10 overs, we just wanted to bat and try to build a partnership from there on. We wanted to keep things simple and watch the ball closely and hit it. “I knew if AB spent a little more time in the middle, he would get ruthless in the end. I had the confidence that AB would see us through.” Mandeep said initially they were looking at a target of 150 but reaching 180 was satisfying. “AB de Villiers and I thought that anything around 150 would be great and finishing on 180 was very satisfying. I think the occasion of this innings makes it a lot more valuable. Getting an important knock in the eliminator is really heartening because it was a big occasion. I feel I played really well in this game,” he said. RCB thrash RR by 71 runs in IPL 2015 Eliminator; to meet CSK in Qualifier 2