South Africa captain, AB De Villiers, says his team’s 257-run win against the West Indies is a good step in the right direction for their ICC Cricket World Cup campaign. The Proteas put in an almost perfect showcase at a jovial Sydney Cricket Ground, a performance De Villiers believes was inspired by sheer determination and motivation for a turnaround after the heavy loss to India five days ago. Similar to his mammoth innings in Johannesburg last month, the Number one-ranked One-Day International (ODI) batsman felt it was important to read the situation and to follow his gut feel.
The skipper was a doubtful starter after suffering from a bout of gastro and fever the night before, but credited his partner on the other end, Rilee Rossouw (61), whom he says “got him off his feet”. De Villiers said: ‘It is about assessing the situation of the game constantly. Rilee played a big part in me getting off my feet today. I didn’t feel too well when I was walking out to bat, I felt really flat, he had a lot of energy and intensity about him. He got into really good positions and made it look flat out there, that wasn’t the case in the previous 10 to 15 overs. We got a lot of momentum behind us at a quick pace and that helped us a lot. We always felt like we wanted to be there at the 45th over, one of us at least, so having a go at the bowlers and upping the run-rate was never part of the plan. We are both aggressive players, we like to keep busy at the crease and we ran really well, all of that together helped in me having a go at the bowlers.’ The performance was an encouraging show of the depth and resources within the squad, with Rossouw and Kyle Abbott staking claims for more opportunities in the remainder of the tournament.
De Villiers added: ‘I’m very happy, especially with Rilee (Rossouw). I thought he was the guy who started everything for us in the middle of the innings. He played with a lot of intensity and energy, I was feeding off him to start off with. A lot of credit has to go to him. I’m happy with everyone’s performance. Kyle Abbott started off well getting Chris Gayle out early on, he was swinging the new ball, he just looked like an experienced bowler out there. Farhaan (Behardien) looked good, he asked me if he should be taking the ones to get me on strike and I said he should play his game, the next ball he hit for six.’ The Proteas travel to Canberra on Saturday, where they will face Ireland at the Manuka Oval on Tuesday.