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Title:AB de Villiers ups verbal volleys before 100th Test

News Paper

BENGALURU: AB de Villiers, who is just a day away from becoming the seventh South African cricketer to figure in 100 Tests, is likely to show his tough exterior by intimidating India captain Virat Kohli, who is also his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate in the IPL.

De Villiers, who is keen to make his landmark appearance memorable by helping SA bounce back in the four-match series against India, said he will do "whatever it takes for us to win games of cricket. If I have to sledge, I'll get involved like that".

The vice-captain proclaimed he was not a nice guy on the field. "I want to win games. I'll try and intimidate a player if I have to. I'll try and get Virat off his game by talking about his technique and little flaws - I don't mind doing things like that. I've never really respected a guy who's been a 'nice guy' on the field. I want the opposition to be hard."

The dynamic batsman said that being 1-0 down in the four-match Test series added more pressure than playing his 100th Test. "I don't feel any pressure because it's my hundredth Test. I feel pressure because we are 1-0 down. It's a huge honour to play my 100th Test and I never in my life thought I'll be in this kind of a 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 match and get back into the series," said De Villiers.

De Villiers, who is no stranger to the city given his huge presence in the IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore, said playing at his second home is special. "I've never been very sentimental about these kinds of things. I don't care where I play my 100th Test. But I have to add that playing in Bengaluru is really special for me. I love coming here. I enjoy touring India in general," he said.

De Villiers said he will treat his 100th Test like any other match. "I do like to stay in the moment and think about what's important today, focusing on this Test match. I know we're one down and we want to get back into this series. I don't like looking back too much; I've got lots of time after my career to do that," he said.

A talented sportsman, De Villiers excelled in multiple sports. He was shortlisted for South Africa's junior national hockey, football and rugby teams. He holds a 100m record in junior athletics. He was also a member of the junior Davis Cup tennis team and was an U-19 national badminton champion.

Asked if his multiple sporting skills helped in shaping his cricketing career, De Villiers said: "All kinds of sports shaped me into the cricket player that I am today. I played a lot of ball sports growing up. I belong to a sports crazy family. Two older brothers that always kept me busy in the backyard with games.

"My parents were never against me playing all kinds of sports. They allowed me to spread my wings and do my own thing. My dad would have liked me to be a doctor or go to university," said De Villiers.


7 Players will have played 100 Tests for South Africa when AB de Villiers takes the field in the Bangalore Test. He will join Jacques Kallis (166), Mark Boucher (147), Graeme Smith (117), Shaun Pollock (108), Gary Kirsten (101) and Makhaya Ntini (101).

217 The first double hundred scored by AB de Villiers, against India in Ahmedabad in April 2008.

278* Career-best Test knock by AB, against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in Nov 2010.

185 catches and four stumpings effected by AB de Villiers so far in his 99-Test career.