AB de Villiers, who came in for much criticism when he took a sabbatical from Test cricket last year, now feels he is in the form of his life.
De Villiers, who surrendered the captaincy in late 2016, and then took time off from Tests, hence missing the series in England, said: ‘I feel like I am in the best form of my life. I could get five ducks in a row but I am happy where I am at. I feel at the best phase of my life right now.’
De Villiers has played some crucial innings in this series, notably when he dragged South Africa out of trouble from 12-3 at Newlands, hammering 65 off 84 balls, and when he broke India’s hopes with an 80 in the second innings of the second Test on a slow, low and unpredictable pitch.
It’s all a question of mindset, said De Villiers.
‘I watch the ball and I just play. I have always said that I don’t feel there’s a big difference between the three formats. It is just a mindset, applying yourself to the wicket and conditions, and that’s always been the way that I have played. It’s not something that I force.’
De Villiers is content and comfortable in a hardened and experienced band of brothers.
With Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar having also captained at Test level, De Villiers says there’s a determination among the leaders to take the team to new heights.
‘There is a great group of senior players at the moment. Guys who have the good hearts and the right intentions to take this team to higher levels and to newer grounds.
‘Faf has been leading the side well, there is confidence as well. I know what the captain needs from his senior players, the kind of energy you need and the kind of advice you need at times and also sometimes also to get out of the captain’s space.
‘I understand that’s natural and understand all of us have been leaders in the past and I think we really work together well as a team.’
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