AB answers our questions
Neil Manthorp sat down with AB de Villiers on Friday, after the Proteas' disappointing loss against India in the Champions Trophy in Cardiff the previous day.
Q: Do you think the Cardiff weather bowled you a googly? At the toss it
was cloudy and cold, and when play started the sun was out…
AB: That’s not the reason I bowled first. We just had a look at the
stats and the past scores and stuff like that, whether it was cloudy or
not we still would have bowled first. I was expecting a little bit more
from the wicket and a bit more movement up front, which we didn't get.
Then again losing Morne Morkel in the middle overs was quite a big
shock, but the way the boys shot back right to the 50 overs was a great
effort. I thought we restricted them to a chaseable score, and
unfortunately, we just couldn't get there.
Q: Do you think the short ball was over-used, especially early
AB: I don't think so. Against the sub continent teams I told someone in
one of the previous interviews that I still prefer some of the batters
in the sub continent teams to rather hit us off our lengths, instead of
hitting it on the ground and missing a length on the fielder side. I
don't mind that especially in the English conditions.
You can argue that, but still we'll go back to the drawing board and
reassess where we went wrong, but I don't mind the guys having an
aggressive mindset. I'm very proud of the way we fought back. We got
five wickets in a very short period of time in the middle overs. .
Q: There were times in your innings when you could and maybe
should have won?
AB: Yes, that is the reason I'm hurting, and that's why I'm quite
disappointed with what happened here today. After being down and out in
the first 50 overs, behind the eight ball, to restrict them to 330 was
first of all a great effort, and then to get ourselves into a winning
position was even better.
Unfortunately, there were a couple of run outs, unforced errors, but I
take a lot of positives out of this game. I'm not going to sulk too
much. We'll try to learn from our mistakes, and we've got a massive
game against Pakistan. We've played them a lot in the recent past, and
we know the areas we're going to attack.
Q: Can you explain the unforced
AB: The couple of run outs were probably unforced and due to
miscommunication. In the heat of battle sometimes you're so eager to do
well for your team and you're just not always on the same wavelength as
your partner at the other end. Unfortunately, there were a couple of
misunderstandings out there which cost us dearly today, unfortunately.
Q: You spoke about the aggressive
attitude of your fast bowlers early on
but you were aggressive with the bat, too.
AB: I thought they (Indian seamers) didn't bowl too badly. We got off
flier of a start. I thought we had the upper hand then. It's difficult
to give a lot of credit when you're playing better than the opposition.
I think we had 77 in the first 10 overs, so we played quite well. But
still I've seen a lot of them in the recent past, in the IPL, I've seen
them bowling really well. There is a lot of talent in the Indian seam
Q: How concerned are you without
Steyn and Morkel? Your
bowling is looking a bit lightweight.
AB: It will be a big loss not to have them here. But I'm pretty sure
staff and management team will get both of them [Morkel has
subsequently been ruled out of the tournament and replaced by Chris
Morris] on the field and in the next game, hopefully, if not, hopefully
the last game.
Q: You said that you would go after
India like a pack of
AB: Yes, there was 100% of a pack of wolves out there today.
said before, I was very proud of the way the boys fought back,
especially after losing Morkel. It was a great fight back and the
energy was high right throughout.
We didn't get a lot of opportunities for run outs and things like
But every time I connected with the team, the energy, and intent and
their awareness was there. I'm very proud at the fact we kept them down
to 330. It could have easily been 360 or 370, which could have taken
the game out of reach for us.
Q: What was the thinking behind
opening instead off Alviro Petersen?
AB: Over the last few games we've watched both players closely. Colin
probably in a little bit of better form, and he showed more confidence
in the last two games and in the net, so we went on that. And Colin has
been in the earlier five, and I thought it was fair to keep him in the
team ahead of Rory. We'll obviously reassess and have a look at the
team going into the next game.
Q: Because of the format of this
every game is basically do or die. Do you see the Pakistan game (on
Monday) as a knockout game?
AB: We were definitely trying to win today! We'll have to keep that
aggressive mindset that we had today. It is basically do or die. We'd
like to win at least two out of the three. When you go one out of
three, net run-rate and things like that coming into play. We wouldn't
like to have that. Even two out of three you might have that situation.