The South African was adjudged man-of-the-match for his superb knock and came to the press conference later to share his thoughts on scoring the century, Rangpur Riders, and his future cricketing plans
AB de Villiers scored a brilliant match winning unbeaten hundred (100 off 50 balls) for defending champions Rangpur Riders against one of the title contenders Dhaka Dynamites at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium on Monday.
This is the first time the South African is playing in the BPL and he scored a century in his fourth innings. The South African was adjudged man-of-the-match for his superb knock and came to the press conference later to share his thoughts on scoring the century, Rangpur Riders, and his future cricketing plans. Here are the excerpts:
You have played so many T20 matches all over the world. But you have only scored three centuries before. This is now the fourth. How special it is?
Honestly, I don’t think one percent about centuries. It’s nothing to me. I try to finish the game for my team and that means a lot to me. I was able to guide my team to win today. That’s why I play the game. I honestly don’t know how many centuries I have. I don’t care. I never had and never will. Sorry to disappoint you (smile).
The special thing is to finish the game. I batted in the middle order most of my career. If you see the stats, the middle order players don’t get that many hundreds. I have to finish the game. I prepared myself to finish the game for my team and remain not out. I told Alex (Hales) to get his century there. It could be two in a row for him. He said no. He also does not care about centuries. So we just played normal cricket out there. We did not want to get any new batsmen in the crease to feel the pressure. That’s what the plan was.
There have been lots of runs in the Chittagong wickets. Do you think the wickets should be like this in the BPL?
No, that will be very boring. Every wicket we played all around the world is different. Even in my own country, from Pretoria to Port Elizabeth to Durban, it’s different wickets all the time. That’s what makes it fun. It’s a skill to learn for players to adapt in different conditions, in different wickets. Sometimes you can go a little bit earlier for shots and be aggressive and sometime you have to absorb the pressure. And that’s part of the fun.
As you are playing in franchise cricket league now, how will this innings prepare you for the upcoming leagues?
Now that I am playing this form of cricket, it’s very important for me to still be performing well. I have got a lot of pride in my performance and contributing to the team success. I want to do well for the team. It’s very nice to see that I can still hold the bat. I will take lot of confidence from this moving forward.
You lost two early wickets, Chris Gayle and Rilee Rossouw and you were under pressure. What was the plan when you went to bat in that situation?
Did not have any plan to be honest. I just focus on my basics. When the team is in trouble, I know I can play my part and save the team. I really enjoyed the situation. Even though, I was getting nervous and also scared of getting out early. I think we all feel like that as we are human beings after all. Actually I did not think too much when I went to bat today. And when I don’t think too much it always becomes a good sign for me. My mind was nice and clear and I just tried to hit the ball and it allowed to me to take over. And I am very proud of that knock.
Gayle has not scored big so far this season. Does it create pressure on others?
No pressure. He is going to score a big hundred at some stage. It matters most in semifinals and finals. Not upset at all about Chris. He is still an absolute legend of the game. I am expecting a hundred very soon. So bowlers watch out.
After your arrival Rangpur have won four matches. Any magic?
I would like to think so (smile). I enjoy playing for this team. All are good people and I am very lucky to be a part of this team. I feel very comfortable because all of us think in a similar way.
You have been contracted for six matches for Rangpur this season. Is there any chance to stay for more matches if Rangpur reach to semis or final?
One of the reasons I stopped playing international cricket is the hectic schedule. So it is really important for me to find the right balance between playing cricket and being with my family. Family is the most important thing in my life. That’s how I plan my schedule. I need to get back to my two sons and wife. That’s ultimately why I stopped playing international cricket, to spend more time with them. That was the thinking behind it. I think when I come back here next year I will try to play better and try to stay in knockouts as well.