Durban - Proteas skipper AB de Villiers gave credit to some “Springbok energy” after their 62-run win to clinch the One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand at Kingsmead on Wednesday.
The Proteas cancelled their training on the eve of the match to connect as a squad, and also fed off some of the energy from the national rugby team who are about to embark on their World Cup journey.
“Definitely, it was a great moment for me in my career and also for the boys to spend some time with the Boks,” De Villiers said when asked if the interaction with the Springboks had spurred them on.
“It was special to give them a bit of a send-off ahead of the World Cup next month. They are a bunch of great guys who are down to earth and are also some of our heroes. It’s great to get to know them on a personal level and I think it should happen often. It’s definitely a bit of credit to them for helping us cross the line today.”
De Villiers admits that the Proteas didn’t play to their potential in the series, but will still take positives from the way the team responded to the pressure of the must-win match and the intensity and execution of their game plans. One other positive has been the form of Farhaan Behardien, who fulfilled his ever-changing role in the No 6 position with distinction.
“We had a little chat before the start of the series,” said De Villiers. “I thought he was moving exceptionally well prior to the series and he looked confident.
“I sensed that something special was coming. The way he is playing at the moment in the middle is exceptional. If we can have a batter at No 6 in form and showing confidence like that we are going to win a lot of ODIs.”
The Proteas have a few weeks off before they depart for their tour of India at the end of September.
The mammoth 72-day tour entails three T20 Internationals, five ODIs and four Tests.