AB calls for fresh faces
Johannesburg – Proteas limited overs captain AB de Villiers has expressed his support for a new-look T20 side ahead of the three-match series against New Zealand.
The national squad for the series, which starts next week, was set to be be named in Cape Town on Thursday and De Villiers expected fresh faces after South Africa’s disappointing ICC World T20 exit before the semi-final stage.
“You’ve got to keep the T20 team fresh and exciting and it’s a great vehicle to get youngsters through into international cricket,” De Villiers said on Wednesday.
“We want to try fresh faces and there will definitely be a few new names because there are youngsters who have really performed at domestic level and we need to give them a chance.
“These new players will bring different talents and skills, which is exciting.”
The general trend in international cricket has been for countries to use T20 specialists rather than relying on their Test players and De Villiers said it was clear South Africa would have to go further down that route.
“The Test players have played a big part in the T20 side, but that might change in future and you’ll probably see a team with a whole different look.”
Fresh off his thrilling hundred in the series-clinching Test victory over Australia in Perth, De Villiers returned to limited-overs action at the weekend with a century for the Titans, albeit in a losing cause against the Cape Cobras in their One-Day Cup eliminator.
“That was one of my better hundreds because it was against a really good attack.
“You can tell the standard of domestic cricket is very good from that match and I like to play domestic cricket when it’s like international cricket.”
New Zealand have had two major blows with the loss of injured spinner Dan Vettori and the unavailability of former captain Ross Taylor, and De Villiers conceded that the hosts should beat the Black Caps if they play to their full potential.
“New Zealand are always a dangerous side. They beat us in the World Cup and they’re really tough to beat when they get things right.
“But we know we’re the favourites and if we play good cricket, then we should win.
“We have a mental advantage over them because we beat them over there at the beginning of the year.”
However, even if fresh faces such as Aaron Phangiso, Hardus Viljoen, Chris Morris, Roelof van der Merwe, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Andrew Birch are included, the skipper insisted that South Africa’s T20 strategies were not going to undergo any dramatic change.
“We may have new players, but we’ll use the same strategy and follow the same game plan.” – Sapa