Johannesburg - AB de Villiers is focused on winning, and little else, as he takes charge of the Proteas Test side for the first time.
De Villiers takes over the Test captaincy for the first time at the Wanderers on Thursday, and while he acknowledged that there might be a “few butterflies” when he takes to the field, the skipper appeared largely comfortable with his new role.
“I’m a very competitive person and I truly hate losing, so it’s a big focus on winning,” De Villiers said bluntly.
“I’ll try and lead by example - score the runs, throw my body around the field, do the hard yards - and then hopefully the team will follow. Losing is not an option… we’re here to win the series and that’s all I’m focusing on at the moment.”
While he acknowledged the captaincy was a “huge honour and privilege”, De Villiers said that not much had changed in the camp over the last few days.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to and I’m very excited but everything still feels very normal to me,” he said.
“We’ve got a very stable team culture and team spirit going, especially over the last few years. Not much has changed… I personally feel the same.
“I know it comes with a lot of responsibility and hopefully I’ll live up to that tomorrow and for who knows how long.”
De Villiers also spoke about the leadership duties he had shared with outgoing captain Hashim Amla and current T20 captain Faf du Plessis.
“We’re all three are still captains in my view. We are a very strong leadership group between the three of us and that’s how we’ve run the team for the last while,” said De Villiers.
“Obviously I’ll have to make decisions on my own and take responsibility for those decisions, which I’m very excited about.”
The Proteas go into the third Test 1-0 down in the series, and they must win in Johannesburg and in Pretoria if they are to win the Basil D'Oliveira trophy.
“Every game is a must-win, but especially now being 1-0 down in the series there is a little bit of added pressure on us to make a play,” said De Villiers.
“We’re as prepared as we can be… a few exciting things happening with team selection and hopefully tomorrow we can excite the crowd and the people of South Africa.”