De Villiers ‘relishes’ Pak challenge in Johannesburg

Updated: Mar 17, 2013, 12:53 PM IST

Johannesburg: South Africa’s ODI skipper AB de Villiers said that he relished the challenge when his team will meet Pakistan again in the third match in Johannesburg on Sunday, after Pakistan won the Centurion ODI by six wickets.

Stating that he is disappointed by his team’s defeat in Centurion, De Villiers said that both teams gave their best but sometimes a team cannot pitch up, adding that their condition in the Centurion Test was similar to Pakistan’s loss in Bloemfontein.

Confident about his team’s success in the Johannesburg Test, the ODI captain said that even though Pakistan is a dangerous team, his team are the favourites to win the match, adding that a home ground and a bouncy pitch may prove beneficial for them.

Stating that he looked forward to challenge of playing against Pakistan and hoped for both the teams to pitch up in the upcoming ODI, De Villiers said that for success in the match, they needed to assess and adapt to the conditions at Johannesburg quickly.

De Villiers said his bowlers started well but lost their way a bit in the middle and despite all their attempts, they could not break the final partnership which won the match for Pakistan. Stating that it was unacceptable for his side to go four down within eight overs, De Villiers paid credit to Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, for his four crucial wickets, and to Pakistani captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who was unbeaten on 57 at the end of the game.

Although, the Proteas won the first ODI in Bloemfontein by 125 runs, with three matches still to play, the contest is wide open with Pakistan.