While the crushing win over Zimbabwe in the one-off four-day Test will boost South Africa’s confidence, the Proteas would have liked to remain on the field for a more extended period ahead of the series against world number one side, India.
It was more like a walkover for the hosts, as they crushed Zimbabwe by an innings and 120 runs in the game which failed to last even two full days. Zimbabwe lost as many as 16 wickets on Wednesday (December 27) to suffer a thumping defeat and perhaps robbing South Africa of some more game time.
But while the usual perception will say, South Africa, who had suffered a crushing at the hands of England, not a long ago, would have liked a better preparation ahead of another challenging series, their stand-in skipper AB de Villiers thinks otherwise.
Speaking after the match, the right-handed batsman said the preparation the hosts got out of the Port Elizabeth Test was adequate.
“Our preparation was to make sure we get through this Test match, [with a] bit of workload and get guys into form. I’m happy with [the] workload. All our batsmen had time in the middle, and all the bowlers had a chance to shine,” de Villiers said.
South Africa will play a full-fledged series against India which will kick start with the three-Test series in Capetown on January 5 before both the teams lock horn in six ODIs and three T20Is.
Meanwhile, de Villiers had his plates full in his comeback game. Before the start of the match, he was given the role to fill in for injured skipper Faf du Plessis, and during the game, he had to don the wicketkeeping gloves after Quinton de Kock walked off the pitch with an injury. The veteran batsman, however, enjoyed the experience.
“It was very enjoyable in the end. It all happened at the same time. I love taking responsibility for the team, and it went very well,” de Villiers said.
The four-day Test has already caused a lot of debate, and de Villiers also chipped in with his views, saying:
“The batters were a little bit more positive, and there was the talk of declaring earlier than normal. It encourages more positive cricket, and I enjoy that, although I’m not sure what the answer is because I still enjoy five days as well. But there is definitely an excitement to day-night cricket for four days. We all enjoyed it, and I think the spectators will enjoy it as well.”
The 33-year old scored a fine fifty in his comeback game but it has not assured his place in the team’s playing eleven for the upcoming series, and de Villiers is well aware of that.
“Faf will take over, and then there is a bit of a selection headache. All the guys seem to be in good form,” he said. “I am expecting to bat No.4 if I do play. If not, then I will carry drinks.”
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