AB answers

Posted on/at 4:52 PM by The Cricket Corollary

Sports Illustrated had a little interview with AB de Villiers after he won the Standard Bank One-Day International Cricketer of the Year and SuperSport Fans' Cricketer of the Year Awards.

Favourite 20/20 shot?
"The straight drive."

Best innings in a 20/20 match?

"The best innings was my hundred (105 not out) against the Chennai Super Kings at Kingsmead in the Indian Premier League this year."

How do you prepare for a 20/20 game?

"I just prepare more mentally than anything else. I just make sure that I have got a creative mind walking out into the field.

And does it differ from ODI to 20/20?
"A little bit, there is a bit of a change in the mindset, but not much. You obviously got more time to structure your innings. I start off with stretching and then I will hit a few balls to get my eye in and then catch the ball to get used to the conditions out there and then I am ready. Like I said, cricket is more in the mind than anything else. So I do all my hard work before the match and then it is just a matter of getting your mind ready for the game."

Why did South Africa fail again on the big stage at the Twenty20 World Cup? Choking has been
thrown around, but was it just a case of the best team won on the day? "Ja, I thought we were the best team there and we are still the best side in the world I think, I believe. We played at 90% on the day instead of 100% and that’s sport. It was one of those things that happened. Unfortunately it was the semi-finals, but we have plenty of years to come and we have a very young squad. I know the next Twenty20 World Cup is next year again which is close, so hopefully we will be at full strength."

Why do you enjoy playing in the IPL?
"It’s fun! It’s exciting and there are big crowds. I just love playing 20/20 cricket – any form of cricket actually. The IPL was nice because it was over here this year. They put a lot of money into this tournament so it is always entertaining and exciting. So it is enj
oyable. "

Would you ever consider playing County cricket?
"Hmm (laugh), maybe after my international career. But at the moment I don’t really have time for that. For now it is no, but maybe after my international career.

Who did you spent most of your time with during
the IPL?
"I spent quite a bit of time with some of the Australian players in our team. Andrew McDonald, both our coaches were Australian, Dirk Nannes, David Warner and Daniel Vettori from New Zealand. All of us had a nice little group going there and then some of the Indian guys obviously also mingled with us. We just had a nice side and a good team spirit.

Where does 20/20 cricket rank in your mind? Do you think it is still third behind Tests and One-dayers?
"No! Test match cricket is still the biggest challenge for me. I enjoy all three forms of the game. But Test cricket is definitely the biggest challenge for a cricketer."

Do you think one-day cricket (or Tests) should be discarded for the more favourable 20/20 cricket?
"No, not at all. I love all forms of the game. You can’t get rid of any of the forms of the game. Test cricket for me is just the biggest challenge and if I could choose between a better Test record or 20/20 record I would rather have a better Test record. But I do love all three forms of the game. " Who is the most dangerous ODI player at the moment? "I think Johan Botha. He is an unbelievable player and has had a wonderful season and I think he is the best ODI player."

When are you going to turn your arm (bowl) in a limited overs match? You seem to do everything else well!
(Extended laugh) "Ja, I don’t think that is ever going to happen. I will see if I can talk to Graeme [Smith] on the field one day when we are out in the middle. I will ask for an over or two!"

You recently appeared on the cover of SI, saying
that you wanted to be the best Test batsman in the world. What improvements still need to be made for you to become the best limited overs batsman in the world? You are currently ranked sixth.
"I never ever said Test cricket. I want to be the best. But I think that every player starting off wants to be the best player in the world otherwise you shouldn’t be playing sport – you shouldn’t be playing at that level. So I did not say it in that way, but it came out that way and the media then turned it into that thing. But ja, I would love to be the best player in the world. I am going to work very hard to get there and do my best and if it comes off, so be it. I will be very happy. But I have a very long way to go and hopefully I can get very close one day or eve
n be the best player. "

20/20 cricket has prolonged the careers of many great ODI cricketers – Sanath Jayasuriya springs to mind. Can you see yourself playing until 40?
"No. Not to 40. There is no chance. I think there is more to life than just playing cricket for 25 years. I will definitely find the right time to retire. When I start my family I am definitely going to retire. I am not going to wait till I am 40. "

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
"Massive influence. I think Jonty Rhodes. From a very young age, I think I was six or seven, no actually eight years-old when I watched the 1992 World Cup and saw his run out. And I really loved him from that day on and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. When I met the guy and he worked with me, he definitely had the biggest influence on my career and he definitely did not disappoint. He is really an awesome person and we are good friends
now. And I feel privileged to actually know the guy. He was my hero and he’s still my hero. "

Describe the feeling of winning both the Standard Bank One-Day International Cricketer of the Year and the SuperSport Fans' Cricketer of the Year?

"I am obviously very proud. It is awesome winning an award like that. It is tough to be singled out and win the award when you know that it is a team game and will always be a team game. There are a lot of guys who did not get a mention, but who really performed outstandingly this year. So it is tough to be singled out individually, but I feel very pr
oud and honoured to get the award. It is good enough. But we had a good season like I said, but it was more a good season for the team and not the individual. So it is just a little silly thing to put up in my bar and just to have a look at one day. But I always remember that it is a team game."


Lian said...

Cool interview.
Now, where did u get the first pic from????

boncam said...

Go check out the Reebok site.


Smithy looks very cheesy.

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Thanks B!

fordaluvofMorne said...

Awesome... thanks Bon!

he probably could bowl if he wanted to... and he probably would be good at it! He is so amazingly talented.

I'm not his biggest fan but he is friends with Morne and therefore I have to like him!

richie_141 said...

That last pic made me throw up a little... ;)