SA vs IND 2018: Virat Kohli Opens Up On Duel With AB de Villiers

While the upcoming series between India and South Africa promises to be an intriguing contest, one of the most-anticipated match-ups of the high-voltage series is between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The batting stalwarts of their respective national teams, Kohli and de Villiers are great pals off the field and share the dressing room for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

But while the fans are eagerly looking towards the players battle, Kohli gave them another reason to look forward to the clash by saying that the friendship will take the back seat when the two stars step out on the field.

“AB is a great friend of mine,” Kohli said on Saturday. “I respect the way he plays the game and I have always respected him as a person. When we are playing against each other – not that we cross the line with each other, we are just not like that with each other, we can’t – but it’s about wanting to get AB out. And I’m sure the opposition want the same when I play or when [Ajinkya] Rahane plays or [Cheteshwar] Pujara plays.”

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SA vs IND 2018: Virat Kohli Opens Up On Duel With AB de Villiers
Kohli and de Villiers share a great camaraderie off the pitch (Credits: BCCI)

At the same time, Kohli was quick to downplay suggestions that the series could be decided by him and de Villiers, making it clear that the team which will come up with better collective performances will win the series.

“It’s just that we want to get AB out and the opposition will want to get me out or Pujara or Rahane. I don’t think there is any difference in terms of the mindset in any of the batsmen in the side,” he said.

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“Every player wants to be the standout batsman and make contributions towards the team winning. Unless you have that as a group, you don’t have too many chances of winning a series. Some people may have brilliant individual performances and then you will be fine with one or two people doing well.”

“I can’t speak for the opposition because AB hasn’t played much Test cricket since he played against us and he is coming back after a while. Setting apart all of the spice created from the outside about the series, the team that plays well together has the best chance of winning,” he added.

SA vs IND 2018: Virat Kohli Opens Up On Duel With AB de Villiers
De Villiers made his Test comeback in the four-day Test against Zimbabwe (Credits: AFP)

De Villiers recently donned the white jersey against Zimbabwe for the first time since injury and a self-imposed sabbatical kept him out of the longest format for close to two years since January 2016. But while the star batsman was given the responsibility to lead the side in absence of Faf du Plessis, there is no guarantee that he would play against India as du Plessis and Quinton de Kock, who suffered a slight hamstring against Zimbabwe, are expected to be fit in time for the first Test, starting January 5 in Capetown.

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