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I'm not a nice guy, will sledge if needed: AB de Villiers warns Kohli

News Agencies | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 8:36 IST

Dismissing popular perception, AB de Villiers said he is not a nice guy on the field and, if required, can go to any extent in sledging and get someone like "Virat Kohli off his game by talking about the little flaws" in his batting.

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Set to play in his landmark 100th match in the second Test against India here on Saturday, the South African batting lynchpin, perceived to be a friendly player among cricketers, said he is not a nice guy once he enters the cricket field.

"I'm not a nice guy on the field. I want to win games. I'll do whatever it takes for us to win games of cricket. If I have to sledge, I'll get involved like that. 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, whatever it takes to win games of cricket.

"I've never really respected a guy who's been a 'nice guy' on the field. I want opposition to be hard, to play to win games for their team. Off the field, I try to be a good human being and it's got nothing to do with cricket. I know my role in the side and that's to win games for my team. A lot of times I don't have to be a nice guy to do that."

De Villiers said he tries to be a good human being off the field. "Off the field, I try and be a good human being. It goes a lot deeper than that; it's got nothing to do with cricket."

De Villiers also revealed that he is not under any pressure though he will be playing in a landmark Test.

"I don't feel any pressure because it's my 100th Test; I feel pressure because we're 1-0 down. It's a huge honour to play my 100th Test and never in my life I thought I'll be in this kind of position. I feel humbled and privileged to get the opportunity to walk out onto the field in my 100th Test," said de Villiers who has scored 7685 Test runs in 99 matches at an average of 51.92.

"I've never put too much pressure on myself. I just want to have an impact on the game. That's the kind of pressure I'm feeling. I want to play my role and get into a position where we can win this Test and get back into the series."

Talking further about his 100th Test, the South African said he would have been happy to play the match at any venue across the world.

"I've never been very fundamental about these kind of things. I don't care where I play my 100th Test. I would have been okay if it's in Bangladesh as well. I didn't mind where I played my 50th; I don't mind where I play any of my Test matches," De Villiers said.

"Representing my country is a great honour. But I have to add that playing in Bangalore is really special for me. I love coming here. I enjoy touring India in general. I love coming here for the IPL," he said.

Asked about comparisons with West Indies batting legend Viv Richards, he said he never puts himself "up on the pedestal".

"I have watched him (Richards) play a little bit, some of the highlights, and he was an incredible player. I don't like to be compared to other players. I never put myself up on the pedestal. I just enjoy the game of cricket. I know I've been playing well this year and I'd love to extend that run of form. But more importantly, I'd like to have an impact on us winning cricket games.

"I'd like us to win this Test. That's the only focus I have at the moment. I know it's my 100th Test match. My current form ... people are comparing me to other players, but all I really want is for us to win games of cricket."

The explosive batsman said he has many special moments to savour in his illustrious career.

"My mind goes to a lot of series victories away from home -- couple of times in England, couple of times in Australia. We've had a few good Test series here -- haven't won it yet but a couple of draws which was big time against what people expected us to achieve.

"Lots of Test matches come to mind, obviously the Sri Lankan Test series win as well. Lots of away victories. At home, it's also special to play in front of your home crowd, but people don't expect you to do well away from home and we've had a really good record," he said.

"It tells a story about the character we have in the side, the resilience -- not only as a cricket team but a nation as well. Makes me very proud to have been part of a Test cricket team touring all over the world and winning games. We're in India now and it would be another good story to come back from this (with a win)."

Asked about his uncanny ability to switch from one from of the game to another, de Villiers said he never found it tough.

"I've never thought about it too much and I've never found it that difficult. I like the challenge of changing. I've always enjoyed challenging myself, adapting to different conditions -- challenges in life and cricket. I don't mind change. I believe it brings out the best in people if you're accepting it. I like changing formats and the challenges it brings to your mental strength. That's what it's all about."


First published: 12 November 2015, 8:17 IST