AB de Villiers has denied he ever thought about quitting Test cricket and says the players South Africa have are the right ones.
Talk about De Villiers’ future in the game and specifically Test cricket has dominated the headlines throughout the series against England.
Rumours emerged during the first Test that De Villiers was contemplating retiring from Test cricket to manage his workload. He never denied it but assumed the captaincy after Hashim Amla quit unexpectedly after the Newlands Test.
At his pre-match press conference before the Wanderers Test, De Villiers said he was only committing himself to the current series, further adding to the speculation that he might quit in the near future and focus on the shorter formats of the game.
Talking to the media after the seven-wicket defeat at the Wanderers, De Villiers denied he ever thought about retiring.
‘I was never thinking of leaving Test cricket at all,’ De Villiers said. ‘I was just trying to find a way to rest a little bit throughout the year. Lots of thoughts have been crossing my mind but this [result] has got absolutely no influence on that whatsoever.
‘Playing on the cricket pitch has never been an issue for me. I always loved it and I always will love it. It’s just a matter of keeping myself fresh and motivated. It’s really tough to stay on top of your game if you play 11-12 months a year. I just have to find a bit of a balance with my cricket to keep that fight going and keep that skill level up.’
A number of individuals in the team have been underperforming of late, leading to calls for players in the domestic structures to be given a chance. De Villiers, however, doesn’t think the personnel are the problem.
‘I don’t think the players we have is really an issue,’ he said. ‘There is still something to work with there. I think the talent is there. It’s just a matter of finding a bit of consistency and apply more pressure more often.
‘We miss Dale [Steyn], but there is no excuse in that. We miss Vernon [Philander] as well. I can name you quite a few guys, we miss [Jacques] Kallis as well. But this is the team we have and it’s the team I believe in. It’s up to the XI here and the XI who will get picked to play at SuperSport Park to turn things around and to find something special.’