De Villiers upbeat for new challenge


With the disappointment of the two-one Test series loss behind him, South Africa captain AB de Villiers has placed renewed energy and focus on the upcoming five-match ODI series against England starting in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

Barring the injuries this series, the ODI squad has been a settled unit since the World Cup last year, stability which has reflected in their results this past year.

In 2015 alone, the Proteas scored four totals above 400, the most by any international team, success which was based on the solid contributions from the batsmen.

De Villiers said on Tuesday: "It's a new challenge and a new series.  We have to keep that consistency going with us batting really well.

"One of the reasons that I can think of for our success in ODI cricket is that we have had the same top seven for a long time, it’s been the same names for a few series' in a row, actually since the World Cup.

"We have had the same names operating so it’s about confidence. With the Test team there have been quite a few names coming in and out of the team, we are still finding out feet there, there is a bit of a rebuilding phase with the Test side."  

The Proteas skipper is the only player in both squads to have featured in the last match between the two nations in Bloemfontein, a tied encounter in 2005.  

Since then, the Proteas have had an impressive record at the Bloemfontein venue, winning their last six matches on the trot.

De Villiers said of England: "We haven't played each other in a while. We have enough footage of all their players to know more or less what to expect and I'm sure they have footage of us as well.

"There won't be any surprises with regards to the new players in each side. You have to find your feet as early as possible in a series like this. We will try to adapt as quickly as possible tomorrow to get some early momentum going."