For AB de Villiers, the previous two international games at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium will remain vague in memory.
For AB de Villiers, the previous two international games at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium will remain vague in memory. But on Saturday, the South African star is keen to make his 100th Test game a memorable one — with a win. With Bengaluru being his second home, representing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, a humble de Villiers is more focused on winning the second Test against India than celebrating his feat.
De Villiers, who made his Test debut against England in the winter of 2004 at Port Elizabeth, has carved a niche for himself in world cricket. “I’ve never been very fundamental about these kinds of things. I don’t care where I play my 100th Test. Representing my country is a great honour. But I have to add that playing in Bangalore — the fact that it worked out this way — is really special for me,” he said on Thursday.
Owing to his distinctive batting, de Villiers, who has 21 centuries under his belt, is often compared to West Indian legend Viv Richards. “I don’t like to be compared to other players. I would like us to win this Test match. That’s the only focus I have at the moment. I know it’s my 100th Test match. My current form...people are comparing me to other players, but all I really want is for us to win games of cricket,” stated the 31-year-old.
In the Mohali Test, South Africa suffered a humiliating 108-run defeat at the hands of Indian spin troika of R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amith Mishra. “Both teams struggled on the pitch. Both teams struggled against spin and looked foolish at times playing spin. We came out on the losing side having not played a couple of sessions to our full potential and that cost us the game,” said the Proteas ace.
The outspoken de Villiers, who made 63 & 16, feels the pressure of being 0-1 in the series. “I don’t feel any pressure because it’s my 100th Test; I feel pressure because we’re 1-0 down.“I’ve never put too much pressure on myself. I just want to have an impact on the game. I want get us into a position where we can win this Test match and get back into the series,” explained de Villiers.
On the occasion, the team members and de Villiers’ family have arranged a party to celebrate his accomplishment. “I don’t like to celebrate my own achievements. There’s a function tonight, which I’m not too happy about. But at the end of the day, looking back, they are going to be special memories for me. I’ll enjoy the function and I’ll enjoy the Test match as well but definitely no celebrations at the moment. I just want to win this Test.”
Abbot replaces injured Philander The South Africans suffered a jolt on Thursday afternoon as spearhead Vernon Philander was ruled out of the ongoing Test series against India after twisting his left ankle during a warm-up football game at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. “Vernon stepped on Dean’s foot by accident in our warm-up.
A very freakish accident...I’ve seen much worse before. He’s very unlucky,” said AB de Villiers.A MRI scan confirmed that he would be out of action for up to eight weeks. The pacer, in excruciating pain, was carried into the dressing room by three support staff.
Following the injury, Cricket South Africa replaced Philander with Kyle Abbott in the team.Meanwhile, fellow pacer Dale Steyn was put through the paces on a cloudy afternoon by the South Africa physio and trainer to ascertain his fitness. Steyn sustained a strain in his groin during the first Test.