‘It’s important to have a good start’ in the ODI series, says AB de Villiers

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“It’s important to have a good start, get used to the conditions and adapt as quickly as possible and attack them in areas where they are not strong”

South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers has announced that “it’s important to have a good start” in the upcoming limited overs series against Pakistan after the two-Test series ended as a 1-1 draw.

However, the Proteas are already at a disadvantage heading into the ODI series as batsman Hashim Amla is still awaiting the birth of his second child in South Africa, while pace spearhead Dale Steyn will be rested for the first two ODIs after complaining of tightness in his right hamstring prior to the second Test in Dubai.

“We didn’t have much time for preparation so its really up for us mentally to get prepared but it’s important to have a good start, get used to the conditions and adapt as quickly as possible and attack them in areas where they are not strong,” de Villiers said. “Dale needed some rest but hopefully he will join us in good stead.”

De Villiers is also determined to work out the “right side” as he believes it is of the utmost importance that his team wins the first ODI in Sharjah as it will put Pakistan under pressure.

“We are tactically working on getting the right side which could give us the best opportunity to get a 1-0 lead,” he said. “I am looking forward to see the guys performing well in the greens.”

The 29-year-old also acknowledged that Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez poses a huge threat since South Africa have been known to struggle against spin bowling.

“He is a world class player, no doubt about that and he surprised everyone with the ball over the last few years and was the top bowler in the one-days, we have seen a lot of them and we are looking forward to the challenges here,” de Villiers said.

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