AB de Villiers ready for the new challenge

AB de Villiers is more than prepared for the role and responsibility as South Africa’s new limited-overs captain in the five-game series against Sri Lanka starting on Wednesday.

“I’m definitely ready now, said de Villiers, at his first official press conference. “I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to what is lying ahead.

“It is not going to be easy, I’m prepared to make some mistakes but hopefully I’m going to learn from them and do better as I become a better captain.”

De Villiers was due to take over as skipper from Graeme Smith against Australia last year but missed that series with injury.

“It has taken a while with the injury that happened a few months ago, I was disappointed to have missed out there (Australia series) but I thought it worked out really well for me,” said de Villiers.

“I got to spend a few games on the side of the field, seeing strategies from the sidelines which helped quite a bit.”

It will be a testing new period for AB, as he looks to juggle the captaincy, his batting contributions and the wicket-keeping, but it is a challenge he is looking forward to.

“I like to keep things simple, it has always been something that has worked for me with my batting and my personal game. Now I have a whole team to think about and I like it that way. I like to take the focus off myself and put everything into the team.

“I’m prepared to give everything for the team, I’m prepared to adjust and like I said before to make mistakes and to learn from them and to do better the next time around,” added De Villiers.

De Villiers will have the experience of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis should the need for advice arise as well as vice-captain Hashim Amla, who led the squad against Australia in October.

“I know he (Smith) will be on my side,” De Villiers said. “He told me that he is going to let me captain the way that I want to and he’s not going to interfere too much. Saying that I know he’s going to be on my shoulder helping me out when I do go a little wayward.”

De Villiers becomes the first wicket-keeper batsman to be handed the reins, with Mark Boucher the only exception after he stepped in to captain South Africa in a once-off ODI against Pakistan in 2003.

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