AB de Villiers has declared himself fit for Sunday’s crucial clash against India at the Oval.
Once the standard fitness update was out of the way, the pre-match press conference was typically cagey from De Villiers, and he was in no mood to entertain any potential criticism.
After going out to loose shots in the matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, in which he scored four and a first-ever golden duck respectively, De Villiers’ form has come under question on the back of an indifferent IPL campaign.
Perhaps one can’t judge too much from two knocks, but for a man that’s seemingly never out of form, as well as the high standards he sets for himself, he will certainly feel the need to start contributing in this tournament.
‘I’m still in good form, I’m still hitting the ball well,’ De Villiers said at the presser. ‘There’s nothing I can say here that’s going to change anything, except that I still believe I can contribute and hopefully I’ll prove it tomorrow.’
A member of the Indian press decided to put the spotlight on his captaincy, following a couple of miscalculations in his side’s defeat to Pakistan, which included choosing to bat first and admitting that he didn’t know the rain would fall as early as it did. It was met with a firm response.
‘I think my captaincy is pretty good, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second out there,’ De Villiers continued. ‘I think I make some good calls. I can’t control what you’re going to write, but in my mind I’m a good captain.’
His opposite number Virat Kohli rushed to his defence too. Kohli himself didn’t have the best IPL campaign by his standards, and also had to walk back to the pavilion for a duck in his last outing. The pair have a much-publicised mutual respect for each other, which has blossomed from their time together at the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
‘I empathise with him; I go through this a lot as well,’ Kohli said on De Villiers’ form. ‘You set standards for yourself and you get shocked.
‘He tries to do something extra for his team and that’s the type of character he is. I know AB quite well and I know the mindset behind playing like that. On his day, when he’s in the mood, it doesn’t matter about what he’s done in the past. You have to find a way to get him out very quickly,’ Kohli concluded.