Calm, composed and genuinely down-to-earth — when RCB’s explosive batsman AB de Villiers talks, the conversation is nothing short of enlightening. In an interaction with the media post the RCB-DD game, the Proteas cricketer got candid about his mindset, nammooru’s fans and more…
With international players like Brendon McCullum and Quinton DeKock in the team, AB, the champ who hit 68 against CSK most recently, says, “It’s been great — we have a lot of experienced players in the team, and most importantly, they’re all good human beings. I have a particularly good feeling about our team spirit this year and how we gel together as a side.” Mr 360 states that for him, all formats of the game are the same.
“It’s all about the mindset change and understanding how to read the game.” While South Africa hasn’t won a World Cup till date, AB admits that winning it is no longer his ultimate dream. “I’m taking it one game at a time and right now, in the IPL, I’m trying to win as many games as I can. Now, my dream is not to win a WC — I’ve changed my mindset – whatever has to happen will happen. Of course, winning the WC will be a bonus, but if I don’t, it won’t define my career,” he says.
With him being a fan favourite, there’s a lot of expectation from ABD to deliver in every IPL game. How does he deal with it? “I love the RCB fans and love contributing to the team and winning games, and I know they enjoy it. It’s a relationship and we want to give enough so they keep loving us and keep coming to the games — the only way to do that is by winning games of cricket. There’s a lot of pressure on us, but I’m sure they also feel the pressure watching us from the side and seeing us not play well sometimes. Hopefully, we give them a lot of pleasure this year by winning more often, and hopefully winning the trophy,” he smiles.
While he had a good season before the IPL, AB maintains that he doesn’t let it get to him too much. “There’s a fine line between success and failure. Sports people have to remember that. I’ve learnt how to deal with success and failure over the years, and don’t let it spike up and down too. I don’t get too excited when I do well and I also don’t let myself get too down when I don’t. It’s important to stay in the moment and not think about what happened in the past. The next game is what is important.”
While he doesn’t bombard young players with advice unless they come upto him and ask for it, he shares that he likes to keep it ‘basic’. “Don’t overthink things and complicate them — keep it simple. The youngsters look at me like I’m crazy when I say ‘just keep your head straight and watch the ball’, but it is what it is. It’s about mastering the basics — I’ve surprised myself throughout my career — it’s never been a planned act. I focus on the basics, make sure I do that exceptionally well and the rest falls into place.”
That’s ABD for you — a ‘simple’ class act....