AB: Black Caps no longer ‘dark horses’
South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers feels labelling New Zealand as ‘dark horses’ is no longer apt, as he feels they are legitimate threats to win the World Cup on their own soil next year.
De Villiers and the Proteas arrived in Auckland for a three-match ODI series against the Kiwis, and he was far from relaxed about it, saying Brendon McCullum’s side would pose a big challenge, both now and in February.
De Villiers said: “I would not call them dark horses. I would say one of the favourites. They’re always a very competitive ODI team. Playing on their home grounds in their country, they’ll be even more competitive.
“We know what they are capable of, especially playing in these kinds of conditions. They haven’t won a big tournament for a while so they must be very motivated to do well. We are expecting a very competitive series.
“[They are] very used to the conditions over here in New Zealand and Australia. They will have a lot of home support with the games here, even in Australia as well. It is a short flight over there.
“They will have a lot of people right behind them and wanting them to do well. They haven’t won a World Cup so they will be desperate to do well.”
De Villiers then spoke of Royal Challengers Bangalore colleague Dan Vettori, saying he would be pleased as a skipper if he could call on the veteran spinner, and felt he would do well at the World Cup despite a long absence.
He said: “I played in the IPL with him and that was always the plan, to have him as part of the World Cup squad. No surprises for me and I would feel very confident if I was in their team having Dan in the side.
“Huge amount of confidence, experience that comes into the side. He has done it before. He has got the world’s best batters out before.
“From a captaincy point of view it is always nice to have a guy like that in your side, right behind you, helping you with a few moves and the thought process of how you are supposed to be moving forward as a team.”
First T20I: West Indies vs England – Live scoreboard
Follow West Indies vs England!
Indian Premier League
IPL Auction: Over 300 overseas players register, 1,214 in total
The IPL auction will be the biggest ever.
Women’s Ashes: England and Australia share points as T20 is washed out
Only 4.1 overs were possible before play was stopped at the Adelaide Oval.
T20 World Cup
T20 World Cup: Australian conditions put England among favourites – Eoin Morgan
England were beaten in the semi-final by New Zealand at the tournament’s previous edition in the United Arab Emirates.
ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup
ICC Under 19 World Cup: South Africa and Sri Lanka secure last eight spots
South Africa and Sri Lanka booked their places in the Super League.
South Africa vs India: Temba Bavuma lauds impact of Proteas spinners
South Africa took the opening two ODIs both played in Paarl.
England in the West Indies: Chance for newcomers in relentless schedule
Jofra Archer has also caught up with his team-mates as the build-up to the T20 World Cup picks up steam.
Indian Premier League
IPL news: Vikram Solanki leaves Surrey after being appointed Ahmedabad DOC
Solanki leaves Surrey after nine years.
Second ODI: South Africa vs India – Live scoreboard
Follow South Africa vs India live!