ICC Live

In focus

Buy Tickets for 2017 - 300x250

We will come out firing: AB de Villiers

A spinner could be dropped to accomodate Dale Steyn, says the South Africa captain.

We will come out firing: AB de Villiers - Cricket News
South African captain AB De Villiars.
Is Dale Steyn available?
Yeah, he bowled at a hundred percent intensity yesterday, and it was sort of the first part of his fitness assessment and today he's doing a bit more. He's 99.9% ready, but we're just going to make sure this afternoon that he'll be ready to go. It's almost a yes, just not yet. Just got to wait a few hours and then we'll make the final call this afternoon, but it's looking good.
With that in mind, should he be a hundred percent later on, what sort of change do you anticipate to make room for him in the 11?
Yeah, that's a difficult one because the other team has performed really well in the previous game. Then again, we've got to look at two spinners, maybe just one spinner. It's still something to discuss and sit down with Gary this afternoon and make the final decision on that. The trend on this field has been just one spinner, so maybe we'll have to look at that.
The two left‑arm spinners we have on the team are very similar bowlers, and it could probably be an area where we work to make a big call there.
It seems almost certain that there will be rain tomorrow and showers around. Can you just talk us through ‑‑ well, we seem to be confused with the changes about weather, whether it's advantageous to bat first or bowl first if that's the case?
Yeah, they always say batting second is easier when there is a bit of weather around. I'm not too fussed about that. Whether we play a shortened game or a normal game, it's all about focus and team intensity off the field. When the team can once again, and I mention this so often, but it's really true, the guy that's can adapt the quickest can really walk on the field and switch on straightaway. Some teams take five to ten overs to switch on, especially when there are rain intervals.
I just think it's really important to keep the focus off the field tomorrow. We’re here to win, no matter what happens, the rain is out of our control, so we'll focus on good cricket whether it's a 20 over game or a 50 over game.
On that, if it's a 20 over game, obviously would that not suit the West Indies more considering they are world Champions in that format?
Well, you could say so. I don't know, actually. We still rate ourselves as a serious cricket team in whatever format we play and however many overs we play in, anyway. I feel we've got a bit of momentum behind us at the moment. We play really good cricket, and that intensity I often talk about is really spot on at the moment. And whatever wicket we're dealt tomorrow or whatever the Gods or what am I trying to say here?
Whatever happens tomorrow, rain or not and whichever team we play and however good they are, we'll just go out there and make sure we do the best and play better than them.
The last time West Indies beat South Africa was back in 2006 Champions Trophy. In that game, Chris Gayle scored 100, and after that there have been twelve matches and South Africa won all and Chris Gayle has not managed to score 100 against South Africa. So, complete dominance against them, so that should make you really happy going into the contest?
Yeah, you've got to look at his recent form, he's been playing really good cricket of late, Chris. So he's definitely a guy we'll be looking at. We've been assessing all of their players. They've got quite a few dangerous players on the team. We have been playing good ODI cricket against them in the past, but it's a whole new game. We know they've got a bit of confidence from the T20 World Cup that they won. It's still a shorter version of the game, the 50 overs, it's not a Test match we're playing, so it will still be dangerous.
We've got our game plan sorted, strategies in place, and tonight we'll do a bit more and come out firing tomorrow.
Is it fair to single out Narine as the main danger man with the ball, and is he still as tricky to read as he was recently?
He's definitely one of the best bowlers in the world at the moment, and you can definitely say that. He's probably the highest ranked bowler on the ICC rankings on his team, so definitely the danger man in his team. But we've seen the other bowlers are also quite handy. We've seen a lot of them take wickets and bowling well, and also coming through as a strike bowler for them, and all of the other bowlers are handy. We saw Bravo doing well at the IPL.
So we'll just have a look at each one of them and play it as it comes tomorrow and make sure we handle the situations, whatever gets thrown at us really well.
Can you pick him?
I haven't faced him a lot. I think I faced about nine balls of him in the IPL. He hasn't bowled me off spinner yet, so I'm still waiting for that one. I just face what I get thrown on the day. I'll just have a look tomorrow and assess the conditions and try to watch the ball closely and keep it really simple. That is my game plan. Whether I pick him or not, I haven't always picked Ajmal, but I tend to play him well.
If your game plans are good and your intensity is at the right level, you don't have to pick too many of them, because you've just got to try to keep the bowler guessing.
Just to follow up on Narine, Ravi Ashwin was in the Indian game, and Saeed Ajmal in the Pakistan game, and they're all off spinners and your back line is really left‑handed heavy, especially in the middle. Is there a possibility that could change with the right‑handers turning tomorrow?
It's a possibility. We know that Gary and myself have always been in the favor of really sending out the batters to play in certain kind of situations. If we feel it's time for one of the righties to go instead of the left‑hander or the other way around, we'll definitely do it in that way. That was a bit of a problem the other day when I could run up there, we were left with a lot of the left‑handers against Ajmal.
But at least he bowled his three overs in the powerplay and only had two left in the back of the innings, which was a good game plan, I think. Even though we just scored 20 runs in the powerplay, I think it was a good strategy.
Being Chris Gayle's teammate at the IPL, I'm sure you know quite a lot about him, and given that he tends to blossom under quite tough circumstances, do you think maybe a knockout game would bring out that extra edge? Or what do you think brings out that extra edge in him?
I think he's one of those players that keeps it really simple. He just watches the ball. When he gets a sniff, he goes after it. It's exactly the way he played in the IPL. It's not really about the pressure situations or big games or not. He played each game the same. I've seen him prepare the same for every game. He fancies a few bowlers more than others, and that's what I picked up in the IPL. He'll feel a bowler and then after two or three overs he'll decide, okay, it's you and me today. So hopefully he doesn't get that tomorrow.
Like I said, we've got our game plans in place for each player, and we'll just stick to that. If Chris comes off and plays a good knock, we'll try to minimize the damage and try to chase it down whatever we've got to chase.
Given that for you guys it's a knockoff game for you too, do you hope that will bring out the best in you, and how do you think that will change from previous situations?
It did in the previous game. It was a bit of a knockout game for us. We approach it as a knockout game against Pakistan, and we played really good cricket. Like I said, the intensity is really well and very good at the moment, the energy and the team spirit is really good. We all know the pressure situations really well in the previous games, and more of that tomorrow would be great.

Similar Articles