AB de Villiers believes that India’s tour of South Africa later this year will be a great contest as both sides always play good cricket. The explosive batsman also said that his time away from the game made him realize how much he loves cricket and added that he has learned a lot from the IPL.
India’s tour of South Africa is a much-awaited one as its pits two of the best cricketing nations against each other in a full fledged series. Though the Rainbow Nation has always been a difficult frontier for visiting teams, what makes the series even more exciting is the fact that de Villiers recently made himself available to play all three formats of the game after stepping down from captaincy in the limited overs formats.
Speaking about the series, de Villiers said, “It will be a great series as the two teams always play really good cricket. But Quite a bit of cricket coming up before India series, we are playing Bangladesh. The series against India is going to be great. They have given a run for the money when we last played in South Africa. I remember Sachin’s (Tendulkar) last series in SA, we drew 1-1. Hopefully, I will be with the boys on the park to compete against India. It is not that I can just walk into the team. I have to work hard for it. I am prepared to work really hard to be selected to play against India,” reported Indian Express.
The 33-year-old explosive batsman has endured a tough past 12 months and decided to take a break from the stress of international cricket, by skipping the recently concluded series against England. While there is no denying the fact that the Proteas missed his irreplaceable presence as they crashed to 1-3 defeat in the 4-match Test series, having lost the preceding 3-match ODI series 1-2, de Villiers revealed how his time away from the game has benefitted him.
“The last 12 months have been very important to me. Just really finding my feet again. In a way pressing the reset button. Looking back at what happened in the last 12-odd years and also assessing where I want to go and what I needed to achieve still. To feel happy in my life at the end of the day having stepped down from ODI captaincy. I feel very refreshed, revived and ready to go again. I have very quickly realized that it (cricket) is the most important thing in my life,” he added.
Though De Villiers has made a name for himself with his incredible shot making
But De Villiers isn’t the only prominent South African in the IPL as the likes of Imran Tahir and Albie Morkel have also given a good account of themselves in the cash rich league. Given this scenario, De Villiers was asked if his compatriots had been taking the IPL more seriously than playing for the country, but he turned down the suggestion, saying, “I am not sure. It’s up to the individual; they can play wherever they want to make themselves better cricketers. For me, my country South Africa always comes first. IPL has been an incredible lesson