New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Auckland March 3, 2012

de Villiers' brand of captaincy "taking off"

ESPNcricinfo staff
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AB de Villiers, the South Africa limited-overs captain, has said the team has started to respond to his style of captaincy, as was evident from South Africa's 3-0 trouncing of New Zealand in the one-day series. de Villiers took over the ODI captaincy from Graeme Smith, who is still the Test captain, after the 2011 World Cup, and has led the side to six victories in eight games.

"I like to think that I have my own style of captaincy that's a bit different to Biff's [Smith's]," de Villiers said after South Africa won the third ODI, in Auckland. "I still believe he is an unbelievable captain, but hopefully my style is taking off a bit and the team is getting used to how I do things."

de Villiers also said he believed the ODI team was as good as the Test side despite being less experienced. "I wouldn't say our best format is Tests. Our limited-overs side is less experienced but it's got good energy and is improving quickly. The Test side is a settled side with street-smart cricketers. Both sides are strong in different areas but both try to play a similar brand and quality of cricket."

South Africa now play three Tests against New Zealand, with the first starting on March 7, and de Villiers said that Smith and Jacques Kallis, who both missed the third ODI due to niggles, would be ready for the Tests. Kallis pulled out on the morning of the third ODI, forcing South Africa to make three changes to their XI and open the batting with fast bowler Wayne Parnell; but de Villiers joked that Kallis was just getting on in years and would recover for the Tests.

"It was a little all over this place this morning when Jacquesy pulled out," de Villiers said. "He had a very stiff back and could hardly move. So we were caught offside a bit. But the younger guys - like Marchant and Wayne Parnell, who hasn't played a lot on this tour - came in and performed impressively.

"Jacque should be fine for the Test. He's just getting a bit older. The mattress he slept on probably wasn't to his liking and gave him a stiff back. I, like Jacques, suffer from back spasms, so I know that the mattress can play a big role. Sometimes I can hardly get up.

"Jacques has always had a bit of an issue with his back. He bowled a lot in the first two games, probably more than I had originally planned, so it's not such a bad thing to rest him and keep him fresh for the Tests."

Smith suffered a blow on the arm before the first ODI and though he played in that game, he sat out the next two. de Villiers said it was just a precautionary move to leave him out. "Graeme will be ready for the Tests, I'm 100% sure of that. His arm is still sore. We waited till this morning and it wasn't feeling so good, so we decided that him being captain for the Tests, and with this series already won, he would be better off resting for the Tests."

New Zealand's batsmen have been troubled by the bounce some of South Africa's tall bowlers have got. The 6'5'' Morne Morkel took a five-wicket haul in the second ODI, and his replacement for the third game, the 6'3'' Marchant de Lange, bagged four wickets on ODI debut. de Villiers said there was no specific plan to bounce out New Zealand's batsmen.

"I don't think we are really focussed on using bounce as a weapon. Some of our bowlers are naturally tall, like Marchant and Morne, so they do get a bit of extra bounce. I personally have trouble facing our bowlers in the nets sometimes, so it's a natural skill they have. We will just be focussed on the basics and hitting the right areas with good pace. We've got variety in our bowling attack so I'm sure the wickets will come."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vista12 on March 5, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, whats with the capital letters - do you not know what caps lock is? If not, look to the left of your keyboard.

    On a more important note, I agree Chandimal and Kholi are class players but as to who is better is subjective, personal opinion and totally unrelated to this article as they arent captaining their sides. Besides, Nadeem didnt say SA would win the world cup, he was implying that we should watch De Villiers as the man.

    WHO DO YOU SUPPORT RAHUL??? LOOKS LIKE INDIA CHOKED IN AUSTRALIA IN BOTH ONE DAYS AND TESTS. HOWS THAT?

  • SICHO on March 4, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    What is it with Indian fans busy talking about SA failing in the future, right now Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are the backbone of Indian cricket, they should worry about the future since the old timers are becoming walking wickets in Australia(and it'll host the 2015 WC), the Little Master couldn't get his 100th ton vs Eng and Aus so it has no value anymore

  • on March 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    The word choke is totally uncalled for......and who can deny that AB De Villiers is among the best 3 cricketers at the moment???

  • MrGarreth on March 4, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Jeez got to love how particualrly Indian fans come on here commenting on how SA will fail in the future and slandering our players. Come on. We've just won a series. Yes we're soaking it up. Why not? Why dont you guys, along with the New Zealanders, go soak up your dismal performances? I as a Saffer dont know whether SA is going to choke in the future. But Im not going to let that stop me from enjoying a series win. Despite what people say, not many teams have whtewashed NZ in an ODI series in their own backyard. So yes we are going to enjoy this in spite of your cynical, nasty and bitter comments.

  • sanjai_zequin on March 4, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    @ ZiggyMarley i agree with u... AB is the world class player , marvelous batsman, wonderful fielder, great captain, and day by day improving keeping.. he is a world class quality no doubt in it

  • ZiggyMarley on March 4, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    @OhMattyMatty

    I think ABdV qualifies as being a master of batting, considering he is the #2 ranked ODI batsman and in top 5 test batsmen in the world.

    Just checked, he has an ODI batting average of 70.21 at a S/R of 101.9 since 2009. That's more than 3 years of batsmanship of a calibre I do not think any contemporary player can rival.

  • sovietly on March 4, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    philander will rip through nz batting line up 43 all out is coming

  • sanjai_zequin on March 4, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 Virat Kohli and Dinesh Chandimal are gud players.. but u n us all knw dat AB is a way ahead of these two look at his Statics for these 3 years.. AB is the most outstanding player in recent years

  • rahulcricket007 on March 4, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @NADEEM 1976 . I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT CHOKING WILL NEVER GO AWAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA & YOU SAYING THAT DE VILLIERS WILL BE THE MAN TO WATCH IN 2015 WC . THE REAL MEN TO WATCHED IN 2015 WC WILL BE VIRAT KOHLI & DINESH CHANDIMAL . YOUR SA TEAM WILL BE AGAIN LOSE IN KNOCK OUT GAMES .

  • MrArmchairCricket on March 4, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I like AB de Villiers, and think that when he's finally elevated to Test captain, he'll do an outstanding job.

  • Vista12 on March 5, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, whats with the capital letters - do you not know what caps lock is? If not, look to the left of your keyboard.

    On a more important note, I agree Chandimal and Kholi are class players but as to who is better is subjective, personal opinion and totally unrelated to this article as they arent captaining their sides. Besides, Nadeem didnt say SA would win the world cup, he was implying that we should watch De Villiers as the man.

    WHO DO YOU SUPPORT RAHUL??? LOOKS LIKE INDIA CHOKED IN AUSTRALIA IN BOTH ONE DAYS AND TESTS. HOWS THAT?

  • SICHO on March 4, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    What is it with Indian fans busy talking about SA failing in the future, right now Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are the backbone of Indian cricket, they should worry about the future since the old timers are becoming walking wickets in Australia(and it'll host the 2015 WC), the Little Master couldn't get his 100th ton vs Eng and Aus so it has no value anymore

  • on March 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    The word choke is totally uncalled for......and who can deny that AB De Villiers is among the best 3 cricketers at the moment???

  • MrGarreth on March 4, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Jeez got to love how particualrly Indian fans come on here commenting on how SA will fail in the future and slandering our players. Come on. We've just won a series. Yes we're soaking it up. Why not? Why dont you guys, along with the New Zealanders, go soak up your dismal performances? I as a Saffer dont know whether SA is going to choke in the future. But Im not going to let that stop me from enjoying a series win. Despite what people say, not many teams have whtewashed NZ in an ODI series in their own backyard. So yes we are going to enjoy this in spite of your cynical, nasty and bitter comments.

  • sanjai_zequin on March 4, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    @ ZiggyMarley i agree with u... AB is the world class player , marvelous batsman, wonderful fielder, great captain, and day by day improving keeping.. he is a world class quality no doubt in it

  • ZiggyMarley on March 4, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    @OhMattyMatty

    I think ABdV qualifies as being a master of batting, considering he is the #2 ranked ODI batsman and in top 5 test batsmen in the world.

    Just checked, he has an ODI batting average of 70.21 at a S/R of 101.9 since 2009. That's more than 3 years of batsmanship of a calibre I do not think any contemporary player can rival.

  • sovietly on March 4, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    philander will rip through nz batting line up 43 all out is coming

  • sanjai_zequin on March 4, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 Virat Kohli and Dinesh Chandimal are gud players.. but u n us all knw dat AB is a way ahead of these two look at his Statics for these 3 years.. AB is the most outstanding player in recent years

  • rahulcricket007 on March 4, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @NADEEM 1976 . I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT CHOKING WILL NEVER GO AWAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA & YOU SAYING THAT DE VILLIERS WILL BE THE MAN TO WATCH IN 2015 WC . THE REAL MEN TO WATCHED IN 2015 WC WILL BE VIRAT KOHLI & DINESH CHANDIMAL . YOUR SA TEAM WILL BE AGAIN LOSE IN KNOCK OUT GAMES .

  • MrArmchairCricket on March 4, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I like AB de Villiers, and think that when he's finally elevated to Test captain, he'll do an outstanding job.

  • Nadeem1976 on March 4, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    I again says that anti-chocking has born . Ab is the man to watch for in next WC in 2015. He is too good a player and captain.

  • OhhhMattyMatty on March 3, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    ABdV, jack of all trades, master of none.

  • OutCast on March 3, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    SA is back at it again- they win winnable games and make all kind of noise, but they will never win a big name game- anyone who wins against WI, NZ, Zim, Bang are considered little league winners.. so wait till SA goes to big brother and come out with the same results.. did I just CHOKE?

  • Lermy on March 3, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    The best piece of propaganda SA have foisted on the kiwis so far is that Tsotsobe is some kind of wonder bowler. In the last ODI he bowled a lot of 125k donkey drops short and wide of off stump that the average club batsmen would have been able to hit anywhere between cover and third man. The kiwi batsmen shouldered arms to their best scoring opportunity as if he were bowling hand grenades. Maybe this is another benefit of good captaincy with good bowlers. Someone having a bad day still gets away with it because the opposition is under so much pressure, and you can hide average play.

  • on March 3, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    de villiers is the best.........

  • Tjoeps on March 3, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    I like, I like! Thanks AB you do us proud man! Well done! Now the real cricket starts... I am sure that you guys will play with the same intensity.... Nice to see a Protea side full of self believe and ready to take/give what ever is needed... Maybe on this tour we can finally step out from the Hansie Cronje shadow, and take our place on the world stage, with pride, where we belong! Have fun!

  • insightfulcricketer on March 3, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    One of my favorite international players not only for great batting and fielding skills but also for his playing a hard but a fair game. Good on you AB. Best wishes on your captaincy and hope you take your teams to new heights hopefully not against India :)

  • sanjai_zequin on March 3, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    AB go on ... U vl definetely b d best captain in the world .. who have so much guts to try a lot thngs

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 3, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    DE VILLERS FOR TEST CAPTAIN!!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 3, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    DE VILLERS FOR TEST CAPTAIN!!!!

  • sanjai_zequin on March 3, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    AB go on ... U vl definetely b d best captain in the world .. who have so much guts to try a lot thngs

  • insightfulcricketer on March 3, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    One of my favorite international players not only for great batting and fielding skills but also for his playing a hard but a fair game. Good on you AB. Best wishes on your captaincy and hope you take your teams to new heights hopefully not against India :)

  • Tjoeps on March 3, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    I like, I like! Thanks AB you do us proud man! Well done! Now the real cricket starts... I am sure that you guys will play with the same intensity.... Nice to see a Protea side full of self believe and ready to take/give what ever is needed... Maybe on this tour we can finally step out from the Hansie Cronje shadow, and take our place on the world stage, with pride, where we belong! Have fun!

  • on March 3, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    de villiers is the best.........

  • Lermy on March 3, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    The best piece of propaganda SA have foisted on the kiwis so far is that Tsotsobe is some kind of wonder bowler. In the last ODI he bowled a lot of 125k donkey drops short and wide of off stump that the average club batsmen would have been able to hit anywhere between cover and third man. The kiwi batsmen shouldered arms to their best scoring opportunity as if he were bowling hand grenades. Maybe this is another benefit of good captaincy with good bowlers. Someone having a bad day still gets away with it because the opposition is under so much pressure, and you can hide average play.

  • OutCast on March 3, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    SA is back at it again- they win winnable games and make all kind of noise, but they will never win a big name game- anyone who wins against WI, NZ, Zim, Bang are considered little league winners.. so wait till SA goes to big brother and come out with the same results.. did I just CHOKE?

  • OhhhMattyMatty on March 3, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    ABdV, jack of all trades, master of none.

  • Nadeem1976 on March 4, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    I again says that anti-chocking has born . Ab is the man to watch for in next WC in 2015. He is too good a player and captain.

  • MrArmchairCricket on March 4, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    I like AB de Villiers, and think that when he's finally elevated to Test captain, he'll do an outstanding job.