AB de Villiers says winning or losing the World Cup in 2019 will not tarnish the success he has had in his career.
De Villiers has been described as one of the most talented cricketers to have ever played the game. With regard to achievements and records, ‘Mr 360’ will always remain a legend and remembered as a player who left his mark on the gentleman’s game.
There might be one missing achievement, however, which could haunt the Proteas superstar: the failure to lift that elusive World Cup trophy.
De Villiers dedicated a chapter in AB: The Autobiography, called ‘The Dream’, where he talks about missing out on winning the trophy in three World Cup campaigns. The 2015 loss to New Zealand in particular was a massive blow.
But, talking to the media in Bangalore ahead of his side’s clash against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday, the 34-year-old said he had a change of heart.
‘It will be nice to win it, it will be a bonus, but if I don’t, it’s not going to define my career,’ he said.
De Villiers’ record speaks for itself. He has 8,765 runs in Tests with an average of 50.66, 9,577 runs in ODIs at an average of 53.50 and 1,672 runs in T20Is at an average of 26.12.
He hasn’t shown any issues with switching formats. He racked up four half-centuries and a century against Australia in the recent Test series and showed his wonderful striking ability in his last IPL match for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, smashing an unbeaten 90 to take his side over the line against the Delhi Daredevils.
‘I had the perfect preparation playing high-intensity cricket going into the IPL. So it’s not a big adjustment at all,’ said De Villiers, talking about the transition in formats.
‘I’ve been doing it for 14 years. It’s a mindset change. The basics stay the same. I’ve said it so many times before, I don’t change anything,’ he said .
‘I watch the ball, look at the situation of the game. In Test cricket sometimes, you also have to bat at seven or eight an over while sometimes in T20, you have to go at five an over and then accelerate. So in all the formats, the basics remain the same, it’s just the mindset change.’
But, he admitted, he takes tips from his RCB captain Virat Kohli. ‘We get tips from each other throughout our careers. I have watched a lot of cricket and Virat also watches a lot. Sometimes you see something in another player that you may have forgotten about.
‘My game is based on five to 10 very basic principles of the game, and sometimes when you are not scoring runs, you try and pick up on a couple of basics that you might be missing out on.
‘I picked up a lot from other players throughout my career and Virat maybe saw something in my technique or the mindset that helped him perform well. It is very basic, trust me.’
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