De Villiers is looking for more out of himself and the rest of the top order batsmen
South Africa wicketkeeper batsman AB de Villiers has admitted that he himself and the other senior batsmen, with the exception of Hashim Amla, did not score enough runs throughout the ODI series against England.
De Villiers wants to see the top order make better starts so that all the pressure does not fall into the hands of the middle order, who saved South Africa a couple of times during the ODI series.
Scores of 20s and 30s are not good enough for de Villiers since it defies the purpose of not taking full advantage of a good start to a batsman’s innings.
“The guys who have come in, they can play, I’ve seen them win matches for their teams back home on the big stage in finals and stuff like that. But they are inexperienced and when you have inexperience in your team you need the senior players to take control, including myself. Getting out for 20s and 30s isn’t good enough at this level it’s as simple as that. We had the opportunity in our batting to kick on with some of our partnerships and that’s where we went wrong today. That’s two in a row and there’s a bit of pressure on our top order now. We’ve really got to step up to the plate and make it count – myself included. We got into nice partnerships but didn’t convert like England did,” de Villiers said.
Even after the ODI series ended as a 2-2 draw, de Villiers does not want the South African team to continue having poor starts, especially with the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka just around the corner.
De Villiers believes it is essential that the batsmen in the team discuss the problems they are having in order to solve it before the start of the World Twenty20.
“We are under pressure and will have a batting meeting about where we can improve. I’d like to think the whole of the top six can play as a unit but we haven’t been performing well. Going forward we need more partnerships, that’s where you get momentum and we haven’t had enough of that. We’ve had one partnership in every game. There’s no excuse, the guys are batting in the places they feel comfortable,” de Villiers said.
Even though England were ahead 2-1 at one point during the series, captain Alastair Cook stated that he was pleased to have drawn the series after being thrashed in the Test series, which saw South Africa overtake England as the world number one Test team.
Cook also noted that he was extremely impressed with the bowling attack, and how they continuously managed to apply pressure to many of South Africa’s experienced batsmen.
“We didn’t quite get our rewards early, a couple of chances went down but what was really pleasing was we stuck to our task, kept trying to apply pressure and picked up wickets at crucial times,” Cook added.