Royal Challengers Bangalore’s AB de Villiers, who for the umpteenth time dragged his team over the line last week, revealed that he is motivated by ‘fear of failure’ and asserted that he values spending time at the crease. De Villiers stated that he always looks to try and play the situation.
After almost single-handedly carrying Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) into the playoffs last season, AB de Villiers, in the first game of IPL 2021, was yet again tasked with the job of taking the Reds over the line. At 106/5, a chase of 161 against a strong Mumbai attack looked incredibly arduous, but the god-gifted South African, not for the first time in his career, made a tough chase look like a walk in the park as he smashed an impeccable 48 to take his team over the line.
The consistency with which de Villiers has rescued RCB, year after year, has been absurd, and speaking in a video posted by the franchise’s official channel, the veteran revealed that it’s the fear of failure that pushes him to do better. While revealing that he keeps things simple by looking to play to the situation, de Villiers claimed that the motivation to ‘not fail’ propels him to concentrate more and get his eye into matches.
“You always know that it’s possible that you’re going to fail. The fear of failure pushes me to focus more on the ball and do the basics better. I feel like if I get a start, my chances of crossing the line are much better. It’s very important to start the first 20 balls,” de Villiers said in a video posted on RCB’s official YouTube channel.
“I try to play the situation that I’m confronted with in the best possible way. That sounds pretty simple but the fact of the matter is that when you play in the middle-order, the situation changes every time. It’s a matter of adapting, getting in, feeling comfortable and trying to string some partnerships. Once you get that going there’s always a bit of momentum shift. Once that happens, it’s up to you to try and make the most out of it. Luckily for me, it comes off more often than not.”
The game against Mumbai was de Villiers’ first since the Eliminator of IPL 2020, but the 37-year-old batted like a cricketer who’d been playing non-stop cricket for three months. Talking about the work he put in during the off-season, de Villiers revealed that he hit the gym to keep fit, but only started hitting cricket balls two months ago in order to get back into the zone.
“The work to get back to decent form was a lot harder than before. The last game I played was in the last IPL, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t work hard. I put in the hard yards and it’s not easy to start after a few months. I started about two months ago. I started hitting cricket balls two months ago but I always kept fit in the gym. I did enough to get myself in a space where I felt ready to go.”
RCB, thanks to de Villiers, started their IPL 2021 campaign with a win, but on Wednesday the Reds will come up against their age-old nemesis, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who knocked them out of IPL 2020. De Villiers revealed that he loves coming up against the ‘challenging’ Sunrisers attack, but insisted that Orange Army are a team that can be dominated once you get on top of them.
“It’s a nice attack to face, you get challenged. I always enjoy playing against them. I mean, you can get hold of them, which we’ve done before, but they can also challenge you with their skill. It’s a matter of us going out there and making sure we get some partnerships going. Once we get on top of them, they’re the kind of team you can really dominate. They don’t have as much depth as some of the other teams, so if we get hold of them, we really gotta make sure that we don’t allow them back into the game,” the veteran said of the SRH clash.