South Africa have many reasons to be confident going into the ODI series against England, says captain AB de Villiers.
Amid all South Africa’s struggles in the Test arena, it was easy to forget that they are currently a very competitive outfit in the 50-over format where they won their last series 3-2 rather impressively in India.
This series kicks off in Bloemfontein where the Proteas have won their last six ODIs.
De Villiers made his ODI debut on February 2, 2005 against England in Bloemfontein. The match was tied. Eleven years and one day later, he will play his 196th ODI at the same venue against the same opponents.
‘We’ve got lots of reasons to be confident going into this series,’ De Villiers said. ‘We’ve played good cricket in India, had a fantastic series win there. There’s a very good energy in the team.
‘We want to adapt as quickly as possible to the conditions because getting a good start will be very important.’
South Africa will have the added challenge of finding a way of resting Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada, which will be tricky given that they already miss the likes of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, as well as Kyle Abbott for the first game.
De Villiers hinted that the duo might be forced to play the whole series, depending how the series goes.
‘It’s a very difficult one. Someone like Kagiso is really important to manage well,’ De Villiers said. ‘He is a very young guy playing all three formats bowling a lot of overs. Hopefully there will be an opportunity in the series to give both of them a rest down the line. We have a lot of injuries and that is definitely something to look at. We can’t afford any more injuries. Looking at Kagiso and Morne specifically we’ll look to find the right timing for them to have a rest.
‘We’ve got momentum on our side after a massive series win in India. We haven’t played against England for a long time. They seem to be playing good cricket so we’ll be weary of them in this series but hopefully we can get on top of them and then use our home advantage to win the series.’