AB expects confident Windies

2015-01-15 15:32
AB de Villiers. (Carl Fourie, Gallo Images)

Durban - Proteas captain AB de Villiers is expecting to face a West Indies team riding high on confidence when the two sides clash in the opening game of their five-match One-Day International series at Kingsmead, in Durban, on Friday.

The tourists won the T20 International series 2-1 against their hosts, wrapping up the three-game sequence before the last game even began.

De Villiers, who was not part of that squad, believes the world's eighth-ranked ODI side will be a serious threat against his number-one rated team.

"They will be in the game the West Indies, they've got a lot of confidence now after the T20s," he said on Thursday.

"Whoever you play, whether it's the best team or the worst team in the world, you're representing your country and there will be a bit of competition in there for sure.

"It's always competitive when I'm part of a series. I get the boys up and that's part of my job as captain There's not one game that I ever played for South Africa that wasn't competitive."

De Villiers is joined in the one-day squad by senior teammates Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel as the Proteas prepare for their final dress rehearsal before the World Cup in Australia next month.

"It's a big series for us," the captain said.

"We know pretty much where we're heading and we're very happy with the squad we've got. It will be great to have a good series here and go to the World Cup with full confidence."

Losing the T20 series was not ideal, he said, but he felt the new arrivals in the squad would be a boost to their hopes.

"Losing a series is never a good thing but the nice thing about the different formats is you always get five or six new guys coming in.

"It's the same here and there's a whole different energy now."

The 30-year-old also revealed he would keep wicket for most of the upcoming series, although there was a slight chance Quinton de Kock could return in the final game.

The rising star was facing a race against time to be fit for the series and even the World Cup, but appeared to be ahead of schedule in his bid to recover.

"Quinton is not far off from being ready so there are quite a few things to take into consideration," De Villiers said.

"There are talks about him maybe being ready for the last ODI here, which is way earlier than what we hoped for. It's not a given, but for the first game of the World Cup I'm almost 100 percent sure that he will be ready."

West Indies have not beaten the hosts in their last 13 ODIs, but new captain Jason Holder, 23, is hoping for a turnaround.

"It's a big challenge for us against a very high-ranked South Africa side," he said.

"We haven't been consistent enough over the past few months and that will be the challenge for us heading into the World Cup."

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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