ODIs also vital in England - AB
While all attention is currently focused on South Africa's upcoming battle with England for the number one test ranking, ODI captain AB de Villiers is eager to avoid any thoughts of the trip to Britain being a split tour.
Five one-day internationals and three T20 matches follow the three-test series and De Villiers said he was adamant his team would not make the same mistake as in 2008 when they won the test series 2-1 but were then hammered 4-0 in the limited-overs series.
"The last time we lost 4-0 which left a bad taste in my mouth, so we have a lot to prove. That was the big negative from that tour, that we relaxed after the test series win. But I won't allow the boys to relax. There's a new feeling in the team, a lot of young guys are coming through. There's a lot of hunger and pride around and we want to start well and play consistently throughout the tour," De Villiers told SuperSport.com on Thursday.
De Villiers was speaking at the announcement in Sandton of a new six-year sponsorship deal between Momentum and Cricket South Africa for all 50-overs cricket, both one-day internationals and domestically.
The deal is believed to be worth around R200 million and De Villiers said the team was delighted to have the backing of the respected financial services company.
"It's great to have that confidence behind us, it shows we're still a very strong brand with the way we represent the country. Momentum is also a massive word in cricketing terms and we want to keep momentum and not relax. We also need to show resilience and the way we turned a 2-0 series lead in New Zealand in the one-dayers into a 3-0 win made me massively proud," De Villiers said.
The 28-year-old was one of the stars of the recently-completed IPL so his batting form is certainly cause for optimism ahead of the England tour.
"I'm enjoying my cricket more than ever, the added responsibility of the captaincy has been a great challenge, but it's brought out the best in my batting, just being able to express yourself," De Villiers said.
South Africa's 11th ODI captain's last assignment was the successful New Zealand trip and De Villiers said he now feels comfortable in the job of skipper.
"I was feeling quite comfortable with it in New Zealand and I got a good feel for the job. I wasn't perfect but I learnt a lot and there's still a bit to learn. Mostly about man-management and handling the various personalities.
"It's a lot easier on tour because things are more settled and structured. You have more control of the guys and the mood because everyone's on the same bus and nobody's staying at home. It's all about keeping the guys in a hungry state, just a couple of words at the right time can switch them on again, and leading by example as well of course," De Villiers said.