The South African will play in his 100th Test match today when the second Test between his county and India in Bangalore begins.
De Villiers, who made his Test debut against England in December 2004, averages 51.92, with 21 hundreds to his name. He will become the 63rd cricketer, and sixth South African, to clock 100 Tests. He also has held the wicket-keeper role for the team, too, since 2012.
FOCUS ON TEAM
De Villiers, 31, said he was more interested in helping South Africa level the series with India, having lost the first match, than celebrating his own achievements. “I don’t feel any pressure because it is my 100th game,” he said. “I feel pressure because we are 1-0 down. It’s a huge honour to play my 100th Test because never in my life I thought I will be in this position. I just want to have an impact on the game and I want to play my role in the team and get us into a position where we can win this Test and get back into the series.”
While De Villiers continued to try to play down his 100th appearance, he did acknowledge he was pleased to be doing it in Bangalore, given he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. “I have never been sentimental about these things, but I have to add that playing in Bangalore is really special for me,” he said. “I love coming here. I enjoy touring India in general.”
De Villiers led scorers with 63 in the first innings at Mohali and 16 in the second, but was foxed by leg-spinner Amit Mishra both times and found his stumps shattered. “Both teams struggled on that pitch; no one scored a hundred,” he said. “Both teams struggled against spin and looked foolish at times playing spin.”
Spin dominated the first Test in Mohali, which India won by 108 runs, but De Villiers is upbeat that the Proteas can fight back. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with home teams changing the conditions to favour them,” he said. “I feel we have the fire power to counter that. Hopefully, in this Test match we will find the rhythm and have more endurance than the opposition.”
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