Loving keeping wicket - AB
Brilliant centuries from Hashim Amla (196) and AB de Villiers (169) left Australia with an enormous fourth innings run chase of 632 over the course of the final two days of the third and deciding test at the WACA in Perth yet the tourists were taking nothing for granted.
“There’s still a lot of very hard work ahead,” De Villiers said after the third day’s play which saw South Africa bowled out for 569.
“There are a lot of batsmen with a lot of skills to come, but we believe we have the bowlers to take another ten wickets and win the series.
“The pitch is still playing well but we’re hoping it will break up over the course of the next two days. If the match goes the full distance then they will be very close (to winning), so we are not arrogant at all. Their batsmen won’t be giving their wickets away and they are dangerous players,” De Villiers said.
Asked about the possibility of ruining Ricky Ponting’s farewell test match with a party-spoiling victory, De Villiers said: “He’s still got to come out and bat, so who knows what will happen. But hopefully we do.”
The ongoing subject of De Villiers's batting form being compromised by carrying the dual roles of wicketkeeping and batting in the top six was swatted away as easily as a Nathan Lyon offspinner.
“I’ve felt this innings coming for a long time. Everyone has been asking whether I can still perform as batsman with the added pressure of having the gloves, but I can - although many people haven’t believed me. I’m really proud about what happened today, but I won’t be if we don’t win the game!”
“I have touched on it before, but I honestly believe I don’t get as tired keeping wicket as I do in the field if we are fetching leather for a long time. I love being involved in the game, I love having the gloves.”