De Villiers aims to shrug off chokers tag

Newly-appointed South Africa ODI skipper AB de Villiers wants to shrug off the chokers tag Getty Images

Johannesburg: Jun 7, 2011

South Africa’s tendency to choke at big tournaments is something newly-appointed ODI and Twenty20 captain AB de Villiers would like to change during his tenure.

Soon after being appointed as the Protea skipper on Monday, de Villiers conceded that the national team has a history of choking at ICC events, which included the quarter-final ouster in this year’s World Cup in the sub-continent.

“It was helluva disappointing for us to have lost in the World Cup quarter-final,” De Villiers was quoted as saying by the local media.

“We obviously have the history of not performing well at the big events and that is definitely something we want to change and will work on,” he said.

“I don’t believe we played bad cricket, but of course we went down again when the pressure was on, but there is a fresh look in the side now which is always good. And as we develop the trust between this leadership group, I am sure it will improve,” the right-hander added.

De Villiers will take charge of the ODI and Twenty20 team from Graeme Smith while Hashim Amla will be his deputy. Smith, however, will remain skipper of the Test side.

In other major decisions, Gary Kirsten, who guided India to the World Cup earlier this year, has been appointed as South Africa coach for a period of two years.

The 43-year-old former India coach, who replaced Corrie van Zyl, will have Russell Domingo as his assistant, while ex-teammate Allan Donald will be the bowling coach.