Diffident De Villiers sticks to his guns

Responsibility is not a difficult word to spell or write. But it is one of the hardest things to apply. Instead of taking responsibility for their 26-run loss to India in their Champions Trophy, a weirdly diffident AB de Villiers felt that his team hadn’t done much wrong.

“Whether it was cloudy or not, I still would have bowled first. I was expecting a little bit more movement upfront, which we did not get,” said De Villiers.

“Losing Morné Morkel was a big shock, but the way the boys fought back was a great effort and I thought we restricted them to a chase-able score, but unfortunately we did not get there.”

It would be easy to cane De Villiers for rigidity, but with an innovative coach like Gary Kirsten, surely if Plan A was failing, there would be an ace up the sleeve.

What was on display was a Proteas side as clueless as the Springbok rugby team when their physical threat is matched. For such a creative batsman, the juices are not seeping down into De Villiers’ captaincy. He said he preferred to fall on his sword rather than move from what they knew and what works for them.

“Against the subcontinent, I told someone in a different interview that I would prefer some of the batters in the subcontinent teams to hit us off our lengths instead of hitting us down the ground on a fuller length,” said De Villiers.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board and reassess where we went wrong, but I don’t mind the guys having that aggressive mind-set. We got five wickets in a very short space of time in the middle overs and I think that was the short ball paying off.”

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