Jennings praises captain AB

2011-06-08 07:45
Ray Jennings (File)
Christo Buchner

Johannesburg - AB de Villiers has all the qualities to become an excellent captain for the South African cricket team.

That is the view of former national coach Ray Jennings, who has worked intensively with De Villiers at the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the past few months.

"AB is a top quality person. I certainly don't believe that South African cricket made a mistake to appoint him as captain," said Jennings, whose Royal Challengers lost to the Chennai Super Kings in the final of the IPL.

De Villiers is the new captain of South Africa's one-day and Twenty20 teams.

"It really was a privilege to have AB in my team," said Jennings.

"He may not have had the best IPL with the bat, but the role he played in the team was of immense value.

"He is someone who leads by example. He always pitches for training first and does not hesitate to offer young players advice during the net sessions. He was also a pillar of strength for our captain Daniel Vettori, who relied on him a lot on the field.

"AB has a sharp cricket brain. He assesses situations quickly and acts accordingly.

"I was also happy with his wicketkeeping and certainly don't believe that it will suffer now that he has taken over the captaincy of South Africa."

As far as his star batsman, Chris Gayle, was concerned the challenge was to get him right mentally.

"He was very unpredictable in his performances and you often don't know where you stand with him. I decided to get him involved more with matters off the field.

"He had to make a lot of speeches and I let him work with many of our young supporters. It was a matter of having to awaken the slumbering lion."

Gayle, who was the batting star of the tournament, praised Jennings on Twitter and said that his inspirational team talks had an incredible impact on his life.

Jennings, who is also the coach of the SA under-19 side, is being mentioned as a possible coach for the Titans.

"It will definitely be an option that I will consider. To be involved with a top side like the Titans is something to strive for."

Read more on:    ab de villiers  |  ray jennings

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