Angry AB de Villiers scoffs at question on his captaincy ahead of India clash

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers was not amused when he was asked about his competence as captain ahead of Icc Champions Trophy 2017 clash against India

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 10, 2017 22:36 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, London
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,AB de Villiers
South Africa’s AB de Villiers is battling off-form in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017(REUTERS)

AB de Villiers may be a super cool batsman but he is human after all. The South Africa skipper, far below his lofty standards, was clearly unhappy when a scribe asked him if his captaincy was on the line given the fact that South Africa could face elimination from the ICC Champions Trophy despite being the No 1 ODI team in the world.

AB de Villiers has been in poor form in this Champions Trophy. His scores of 4 and 0 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan have not escaped the attention of his critics and it emerged again ahead of a crunch game.

Against India, it will be De Villiers’ big test and the Proteas skipper wants to prove a point.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy: Nothing special about South Africa game - Virat Kohli

Captaincy questions

Emphasising that he was “in my mind a good captain,” AB de Villiers hit back at the journalist, saying: “I think my captaincy is pretty good. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second out there. Lost the last game (versus Pakistan), so that’s never ideal for a captain. I understand what I’m trying to do out there.

“I think I make some good calls. But yeah, pencil’s in your hand, and I unfortunately can’t control what you’re going to write but in my mind I’m a good captain. So, that’s unfortunately going to come down to the result again tomorrow (versus India) ...hopefully, a good one.”

Read | India vs South Africa: AB De Villiers’ team’s strengths & weaknesses

IPL teammates

Virat Kohli said he “empathised” with AB de Villiers for all the pressure that he is under.

“I go through this a lot, as well. When you have set standards for yourself then people get shocked. You know, he’s by far the most committed cricketer I’ve ever seen around, and the reason for that was trying to do something extra for his team and that’s the kind of character he’s always been.

Read | ‘ICC Champions Trophy begins now for Group B, India will be under high pressure’

“If he decides to play the way only he can, you know you have to find a way to get him out pretty quickly. So yeah, we’ll look to stop not only him but all their batsmen,” said Kohli.

Teammates at Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli and De Villiers have mutual respect, but Sunday will be a different ball game.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India vs South Africa top five memorable clashes

“Our plans will be around trying to unsettle Virat early on in his innings. When he gets going, Virat can really hurt your bowling attack and take the game away from you,” said De Villiers.

No matter how much focus there is on a Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers, the team that plays the perfect game will emerge on top on Sunday. South Africa have history on their side with a 45-28 win-loss record.

First Published: Jun 10, 2017 22:33 IST