South African coach Russell Domingo has said de Villiers was looking nervous out in his comeback to International match against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. During the 3rd T20I game against Sri Lanka, de Villiers scored an impressive 63 off 59 balls.
Talking about his best batsman’s return, the coach said he did a commendable job after being sidelined for around six months and but still had some nervous moments out there. He said looking at him, it seemed as if he was making his debut.
De Villiers, in Domingo’s words, appeared to have taken a rebirth into the game, and Domingo tagged the feeling of watching it from sidelines as exciting.
“He was nervous. It was almost as though he was playing his debut today. He was very edgy and said he felt like he was playing for the first time. It’s great – it shows how much it still means to perform. That’s exciting for us, because it’s almost like a bit of a rebirth for him. He’s fresh and really desperate to do well.”
Though, prior to this match, de Villiers played a domestic match where in scored an unbeaten 134 off 103 balls. Going back to the time when he was fluent in his shot-making, de Villiers was as destructive a batsman as any, and now after coming from injury, he wasn’t any different.
Domingo, who reserved some words of praise on de Villiers’ cricketing understandings, said he reads the situation well and adapted his game plan accordingly. He said the management wanted de Villiers to spend more time on the crease and knew he will deliver later on, once he is set.
“He played the situation really well today. We always wanted him to have some time at the crease with the one-day series coming up, instead of coming to have a bit of a tonk at the back end. In my opinion, he’s unbelievable in the last seven or eight overs if he can find himself set at that stage. So he played really well and we’re pleased he has some runs behind his name, he spent some time in the middle and we can focus all our energies on the one-day series.”
Domingo during the post-match conference said de Villiers will bat at number four in ODIs, making space for Faf to bat at three, saying the staff has made a decision on the same since he (Ab de Villiers) will be out of Tests outfit for the most part of 2017.
South Africa, though, lost the three-match T20I series 2-1.