Cricket

AB De Villiers begins mind games before ODI series

AB De Villiers has surely taken a leaf out of Ricky Ponting’s book as he has commenced the mind games before the ODI series actually begins. De Villiers said that his side was hopeful of winning the ODI series, after a couple of splendid performances in the T20I series, which the visitors won 2-0.

“It is a great start in what promises to be a very challenging tour for us. In the T20 series, I don’t think a lot of people expected us to play the way we did. There will be lots of travellings, lots of different grounds, lots of different wickets. It is going to be challenging but we have got very important momentum on our side and we are hoping to build on it tomorrow,” said De Villiers.

“We are hoping to win the series. We drew 2-2 way back in 2006. I was part of that series. We would love to win the series. We have shown the world that we can beat India in India. We have just got to play very good cricket. The T20 series is in the past. It is a whole new story now. India will try to bounce back and hopefully we will stop them,” De Villiers continued.

The South African skipper also said that he believed in keeping things simple and grounded. “The plan is to play a good cricket game. We have covered all our bases. There are no funny game plans. If we play well, we have a good chance of winning. It doesn’t look like a spinning track. It looks like a good cricket wicket. Anyway, we are well prepared to face spin here in India.”

When quizzed about his rivalry with R. Ashwin, De Villiers spoke in an unusual way and said that more than Ashwin dismissing him in the two T20I’s, it was his own fault that led to his downfall. “I can answer that very well. He is a very good bowler. But I don’t think he got me out in either of the games. I got myself out in both the games. When you face technical flaws against a bowler, then you have to worry about your game. But that was not the case. I was looking to dominate. Last game I got a bit lazy, played for the spin when there was not a lot of it. There is nothing to worry about. Having said that, he is a world class bowler and needs to be respected,” said De Villiers.

De Villiers also said that the visitors had a balanced lineup, which worked in their favour. “We have got a very balanced bowling attack. But we don’t lean too much on the spinners or the seam bowlers. We have got firepower in all the departments of our bowling. “You have seen that over the years, especially the last few. We have guys who can swing it, seam off the wicket, guys who can spin, be it off spin or leg spin. So we have got all bases covered.”

De Villiers was also quick to dismiss the theory of spinners dominating the scene. “I don’t think spinners have been the theme of the series so far. I feel seamers have won us the games but having said that India have got good spinners and I will be expecting the wickets to get slower as we go on in the series. The wicket that is out here doesn’t look like a spinning track. Looks like a really good wicket. You can expect normal spin. Nothing out of the world,” concluded De Villiers. 

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