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England vs South Africa: De Villiers Looking at T20 for Champions Trophy Redemption

South Africa captain AB de Villiers wants the Twenty20 series against England to help soothe the Proteas' wounds after their early exit from the Champions Trophy.

AFP |June 22, 2017, 12:40 PM IST
England vs South Africa: De Villiers Looking at T20 for Champions Trophy Redemption

South Africa captain AB de Villiers wants the Twenty20 series against England to help soothe the Proteas' wounds after their early exit from the Champions Trophy.

De Villiers' men did not make it out of the group stage of the eight-team one-day international tournament, their fate sealed with a thumping defeat by India at The Oval.

England too were undone in their quest for Champions Trophy glory with a semi-final defeat by eventual champions Pakistan.

Now England and South Africa meet in a three-match Twenty20 series, starting at Southampton on Wednesday.

De Villiers's captaincy was called into question during the Champions Trophy but now he is ready to lead the side at the 2019 World Cup in England.

"I'm very excited to play in the three T20s, it was a tough few days after being knocked out of the Champions Trophy," said de Villiers at Southampton on Tuesday.

"To go through that phase of reflecting and hearing some of the criticism. It is never easy but I have always been the kind of guy to see the positives and see opportunity to improve and these three matches give me that opportunity as a player and a captain.

"I don't feel I have to prove anything; I just want to play, I feel like a youngster starting my career. I just want to score some runs again and captain this side to a couple of wins.

"We learnt a lot of things when it comes to playing cricket here (in England). Pakistan surprised all of us how they controlled the middle overs. We have taken some cricket things out of it but also from the mental point of view.

"It shows you anyone can come out on top at the end of the day. We have made quite a few mental notes and all sorts going forward to come back in 2019, I hope I will be part of that, it is part of the plan."

De Villiers, a star in all three formats, has decided to miss South Africa's Test series in England that follows the Twenty20 matches.

The 33-year-old de Villiers, who will play for Pretoria in the newly-launched South African T20 Global League, has appeared in numerous Twenty20 leagues around the world, including the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.

But he still sees a future for Twenty20 internationals amid an increasingly congested global calendar.

"We don't play a lot of them. It is important for the ICC (International Cricket Council) and these franchise events to get the right balance in the future for the players to know where they are going with their career," said de Villiers.

"Franchise cricket is important, it played a huge part in my career, the IPL changed my life completely.

"It upped my skill as a player, getting used to different conditions and playing with some of my heroes. Now we have a competition at home in South Africa is great for our cricket and I am excited.

"There is a place for those tournaments and it is up to the big boards to get the decisions right.

"I have never been picking and choosing my games, it is making sure I am at my best kind of form in 2019 for that World Cup.

"That is the main goal, obviously there are a few stepping stones in order to get there."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more