AB insists Proteas are ‘better than Australia’

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Despite losing the ODI series against Australia four-one Down Under, South Africa skipper AB de Villiers insists his side is the better unit, even though the Aussies are now the number one-ranked side in the format.

After losing the T20 series, the Proteas then lost the first game in Perth. They drew level with the second game, but then lost the following three, with their bowlers and middle order taking the bulk of the blame.

But De Villiers was defiant upon arrival back in SA: "There is absolutely no doubt in [my] mind we are the better team.

"We didn't play the big moments as well as we wanted to but I really believe we could have beaten them 4-1 on another day but it didn't happen that way.

"They will be one of the favourites for the World Cup but I still believe we are better team. We will be the team to beat at the World Cup."

The Proteas were without key all-rounder JP Duminy and that absence was felt both with bat and ball. As such, new players were given chances, and De Villiers felt they learned a lot ahead of the World Cup it tyhe same venues.

He said: "If you don't learn, especially if you are not playing well, then you are not going to move forward as a team.

"We learnt a lot of little things – like flying from Perth to Canberra and understanding there is a time difference and jetlag comes into play even though you are on tour. And different wickets.

"There is no set of rules that you've got to play in a certain way in Australia. Russell [Domingo] and I made a lot of notes. We are definitely more prepared than what we would have been if we didn't go on the tour."   

The skipper also insisted that they hadn't been destroyed, despite what the scoreline suggested. The biggest victory margin was 73 runs in the third game, and the other four games were fairly tight contests.

De Villiers added: "It was just those crucial times when we need guys to step up for the team with bat and ball. Not a lot of guys did that in this series and that's probably why we didn't come out as winners.

"But we did compete in all five games. We didn't have any bail-out games, where we don't compete at all, and that was pleasing."

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