AB de Villiers ready to take charge as South Africa skipper for shorter formats

AB de Villiers was appointed South Africa captain for shorter formats in June 2011 Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Paarl: Jan 10, 2012

South Africa captain for limited-overs format, AB de Villiers, said on Tuesday that he is ready to take charge of the Proteas team starting with the One-Day International series against Sri Lanka.

South Africa take on Sri Lanka in the first of the five-match ODIs on Wednesday at Paarl.

De Villiers, who was named captain in the shorter formats after Graeme Smith s resignation following their ICC 2011 World Cup exit, was appointed captain in June 2010, but a hand injury kept him out of the matches against Australia earlier this summer.

“I was disappointed to have missed out (against Australia) but it worked out really well for me,” De Villiers said.

“I got to watch a few games and witness the strategy from the side of the field, which helped. I’m definitely ready now and excited. I know it’s not going to be easy but hopefully I will learn and do better as I go along,” the South Africa captain was quoted as saying by IOL Sports.

The right-handed batsman accepted that he is inexperienced and might make some mistakes. “You can expect a few more mistakes but I’m not going to be scared to try out new things and express a bit of flair which will hopefully work out well for the team,” he said.

“I’ve played with Graeme and Jacques (Kallis) for many years and they’ve always helped me out. Jacques has helped me with my batting in the past and I know Graeme will be on my shoulder helping me when I do go a little bit wayward,” de Villiers added.

“I like to keep things simple. It’s always worked for me in my batting but now I have a whole team to think about. I like it that way I like to take the focus off myself and put everything into the team,” he expressed.

Talking about his side s preparation for the first ODI, he said, “We’ll be going to Paarl a bit earlier to get a feel for the ground.”

“We’ve played really good cricket over the last few years in the sub-continent, so I’m pretty confident we will do well tomorrow,” de Villiers added.

The middle-order batsman said he will be batting at his usual No.4 spot.

“I might be floating a bit but I’m looking to batting at four. I’ve scored a lot of runs there and would like to bat there but we’re not going to be one-dimensional about it. I will do whatever is best for the team, so if I have to bat at five or three then that’s what will happen,” he said.

De Villiers will also be keeping the wickets for the home side, and says it will not be a problem for him.

“It’s not a short-term thing. We’ll stick with it for a while and it opens up a spot or two in the team. You’ve got a very good view of the game from behind the stumps. If I get a good thing going with the bowlers, then it shouldn’t be a problem, but luckily we’ve got Graeme and Jacques who can also get the message across to them for me,” he said.

“I’m prepared to give everything to the team, and if I make mistakes, I will do better next time,” de Villiers concluded.