Wednesday : Castle Lager Proteas captain, AB de Villiers, says his leadership style will be to lead by example when he takes the reigns for the remainder of the Sunfoil Test series against England. De Villiers’ immediate challenge is the must-win third Test starting at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Thursday, which will see him become the 34thplayer (10th since unity) to captain the Test side. The 31-year-old addressed the media for the first time on Wednesday afternoon and said he is committed to South African cricket and is hungry to make a success of the next two Test matches.
De Villiers, who has captained in 76 One-Day Internationals and 15 T20 Internationals, says there will be no noticeable difference to the way the squad conducts themselves for the remainder of the series, except for a more ‘energetic’ approach in the field.
“ It’s pretty normal,” he said of the emotions. “It’s a huge honour and privilege to get the title and to captain my country, especially at Test level. It’s something I’m looking forward to, I’m very excited, but everything still feels normal to me. We have had a stable team culture and team spirit going over the last few years, it’s has been consistent so not much has changed in the team setup. I personally still feel the same but I think tomorrow a few butterflies will be going around, which is the same with every Test I play. I know it comes with a lot of responsibility and hopefully I will live up to that.
“I’m a very competitive person, I truly hate losing,” he said of his captaincy style. “There will be a big focus on winning, lots of energy and I like to lead by example. It makes my job a lot easier when I go out there and do things the way that I want the team to follow. I will try and lead by example; score the runs, throw my body around the field and do the hard yards, I then believe that the team will follow.”
The Proteas’ fightback at Newlands has given the squad a big confidence boost, a timely spur as they return to the sprightly Wanderers conditions which should offer a ‘good contest between bat and ball’.
“I believe there was a bit of a momentum shift in the last Test match,” De Villiers said. “I’ve played enough series in the past to know that a little momentum shift doesn’t just happen, it’s a big thing in a series like this. It’s up to us to make sure we maintain that momentum going into this Test match. There is a nice energy in the team, Hashim (Amla) led the team exceptionally well, but there will be a fresh vibe, I’m more of an energetic guy so hopefully that kind of energy will be useful in the next two Test matches.
“It looks like a normal Wanderers Test wicket, it looks like a good wicket,” he said. “It’s may be a touch drier than normal because we haven’t had a lot of rain in the last few months but there is always a good contest between bat and ball at this ground, that excites me.”