South Africa legend AB de Villiers has expressed strong desire to lead his team in the 2019 World Cup despite another failed ICC campaign and said that he was still the right man to captain South Africa. The 33-year-old thinks that he can be the man to influence a change in South Africa’s fortunes.
“Because I’m a good captain. And I can take this team forward. I can take us to win a World Cup, I believe,” de Villiers said, after the defeat against India at The Oval. “I believed the same thing over here in this tournament and the last one here but that’s what I believe. I love doing it.”
South Africa crashed out of the multi-team event after a dismal show with the bat that saw them only put up a below-par 191 while batting first — a total that proved far too insufficient for India’s star-studded batting line-up in the end — owing to three calamitous run-outs and a collapse that saw them lose last 8 of their wickets for only 51 runs.
South Africa were calmly situated at 2-140 before chaos violently halted South Africa’s progress. A tight single to point attempted by Du Plesses proved fatal for the Proteas skipper, who was caught short of his ground as MS Dhoni’s lightning quick hands rattled the stumps. Five balls later, a horrible mix-up resulted in David Miller’s wicket, with both batsmen ended up running towards the same end.
While speaking at a loss to explain the batting collapse, de Villiers conceded that it was a “very poor batting performance” but dismissed the perception that his side were haunted by mental demons.
“I can’t explain to you exactly what happens. I think you saw it out there today. It was just a very poor batting performance.” he said.
“It has nothing to do with the energy or the intensity or the belief in the team. It has nothing to do with the energy or the intensity or the belief in the team. We felt we had a great chance today. We came here to win the game of cricket. And then we just unraveled as a side out there.”
“I felt the team was pretty composed today. I don’t think we lost it there with composure. A few errors of judgement, a few mistakes out there cost us badly today. It’s not going to do with composure in my eyes. I felt pretty calm with the team all the time. We played some good shots and then just a couple of bad, errors of judgement out there cost us. It wasn’t a mental thing. We just didn’t play well.”
When asked why the Proteas continue to fail in the ICC events but can win bi-lateral series and earn their current rank as the world’s best ODI team, he said it is “pretty sad”.
“It wasn’t a mental thing. We just didn’t play well,” he said. “Tournaments are a little bit different. You play different teams all the time on different venues, so it’s a big challenge. No one said it’s going to be easy. But we do come up short for some reason in tournaments like this, and it is pretty sad.”
England will now face the winner of today’s match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in semis, while India will play Bangladesh in Birmingham in a second semi-final.