We were more hungry than England: AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers thrives in pressure and he is proud of that. After leading the Proteas from the front in Sunday’s series-clinching victory over England in final ODI in Cape Town, De Villiers said that his players were more hungry than the Englishme

By: The Telegraph
Updated: 18 Feb 2016 05:20 PM




Calcutta: AB de Villiers thrives in pressure and he is proud of that. After leading the Proteas from the front in Sunday’s series-clinching victory over England in final ODI in Cape Town, De Villiers said that his players were more hungry than the Englishmen and that ultimately made the difference.



South Africa made a stunning comeback after losing the first two ODIs to clinch the series winning the next three. The Proteas, in fact, are the first team since Pakistan in 2005 to come back from 0-2 down in an ODI series and claim victory, and just the fourth in the history of the 50-over game to do so.



Speaking at the post-match media conference, De Villiers said: “The belief was still there after the first two ODIs… I don’t think we were too far off. If things were different, we could have even won the first two ODIs. We made a comeback from a difficult position.”



Acknowledging the competitiveness of the series, he said: “Yes it was a close series and credit to England for really fighting well. They are a good side, a side to watch out for in the next few years. I think the difference was probably the hunger, that’s something that I harp on a lot. We were a bit more hungry than England to really nail it down. To comeback from 0-2 down, to me it’s something special. It’s nice to finish a series like that.”



 “We took a lot of confidence from the last two ODIs… We didn’t lose our fighting spirit,” he added.



The explosive batsman revealed that he had asked his boys to “keep believing” in themselves. “I asked them to keep their spirits up… I asked them to keep believing and have the faith that we can come back.



 “To take one step at a time… We showed inspirational video here and there, but we tried to focus on the basics and do the small things right and we created more pressure than England and then things went our way.”



About handling pressure situations better than most, De Villiers said: “You live for those pressure moments. Through an international career, you have ups and down but you always feel you are going to be tested in moments like that.



 “It has taken me years to feel comfortable and to feel like I have good composure in those situations. I have good composure in those situations. That’s something I am proud of. Not just for me, but for the whole team.”



 “I like to push myself a little bit down when we are chasing. I feel I handle the pressure situations well and that’s why I want to be there at the end,” he added.



De Villiers knew that after a top-order tumble South Africa needed cool heads. Luckily, he had his calmest team-mate, Hashim Amla, on hand to provide that.



 “The chat between us (Amla) was not to worry about the runs and to make sure we get in and not lose another wicket. Positive chat, we’ve done it before. I felt it was really important to take it 10 runs at a time and get to a fifty-run partnership. We were prepared to put in the hard yards.”



Praising England, he said: “They are a fantastic one-day team.”



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