ANI Photo | De Villiers terms Rohit-Virat recall for T20Is a “smart move”

Former South Africa batter and captain AB de Villiers has backed experienced India batters playing in the ICC T20 World Cup and said bringing Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli back for the T20Is after over a year is a “smart move”.
Star opener Rohit Sharma and batter Virat Kohli returned to India’s T20I squad against Afghanistan with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday revealing a 16-player roster for a three-match T20I series starting on January 11.
The senior duo made a comeback to India’s T20I setup for the first time since the end of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 and ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.
“I am not surprised. I am happy for both Rohit and Virat. You want to take your best team to the World Cup. I can understand the criticism regarding the youngsters who will miss out after playing all this while. I was in this position at the backend of my career, it did not work out for me like it did for Virat and Rohit. It is a right and a smart move to get your experienced players, who have been there and done that, to play in the World Cup,” De Villiers told the media.
He also said that Virat has found a fine balance in his career and is able to spend time with his family well, and it is something he admires. He also said that it is important for Virat to keep his fire for cricket burning as his career progresses.
“Virat grew up with cricket in his blood. This is what kept him going. At the end of my career, my fire was burnt out and I called it quits. It is important to keep that fire burning. He has found a nice balance in his career, has a family and spends time with them. I could have done this better. He looks happy on the field, looks motivated and I wish him all the luck,” said the former batter.
On Cape Town’s Newlands pitch in the second Test between India and South Africa, which ended in just two days, De Villiers said that the venue is known for a lively day-one first session.
“It was normal to me. Newlands is known for a lively day-one first session. If you fight your way through it, it gets easier. You have to play positive cricket here. Aiden Markram scored a century and those who played positively did well. The gameplan was conservative from both teams on day one. It was wrong. You have to take on the bowlers. If you let them bowl to you, it will be difficult to survive,” he said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday gave an “unsatisfactory” rating to the Newlands pitch in Cape Town following a low-scoring second Test between India and South Africa.
The decision was made under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, following the shortest-ever completed Test match with 642 balls bowled in total.
On a possible return to his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a mentor/coach, AB said, “I have not spoken to anyone, nor has anyone contacted me. If there is an offer on the table, I will sign it as a friend, not as a coach or mentor. I would be happy to share my knowledge and experience with the players. Maybe down the line we will get a more professional role, but I am happy where I am.”
de Villiers represented the side from 2011-2021 in 157 matches. He scored 4,522 runs at an average of 41.10. He scored two centuries and 37 fifties for the side at a strike rate of over 158.
De Villiers also said that the ongoing SA20 season two, which started on January 10 and will go on till February 10, looks “primed for success,” and he is excited to be a part of it as a brand ambassador.
On his favourite SA20 team, De Villiers said that it is Pretoria Capitals.
“I am a born and bred Pretoria boy. I hope they do well and so do other teams. Especially the youngsters of every team, I want them to get the exposure they deserve. This is a perfect platform and there is no better tournament to kickstart your career and get some eyes on you,” said De Villiers.
A total of six teams are participating in SA20, namely the Durban Super Giants, Joburg Super Kings, MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Sunrisers Eastern Cape and Pretoria Capitals. Sunrisers Eastern Cape won the inaugural season, beating Pretoria Capitals in the finals back in February last year.
Pretoria franchise has international talent including Rilee Rossouw, Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Paul Stirling, James Neesham and Anrich Nortje. (ANI)

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