Pune: Notwithstanding the comprehensive win against Rajasthan Royals in their IPL Eliminator, AB de Villiers says Royal Challengers Bangalore will be wary of Chennai Super Kings in tomorrow’s qualifier 2 as they are a tough team to beat. “It is going to be a very difficult match. We know that CSK are a very good and tough team to beat. We would love to go to Ranchi and beat them. It would be amazing if we can then go a step further and win the trophy. Right now we have to take it step by step,” said de Villiers.
De Villiers hit a fighting 66 and shared a match-winning 113-run stand with Mandeep Singh (54 not out) as the Bangalore outfit recovered from a sluggish start to post a challenging 180 for four and eventually won by 71 runs against Rajasthan Royals here last night. But the hard-hitting South African batsman chose to give all the credit to his partner Mandeep for helping him to continue the momentum. “To be very honest I didn’t play very well today. I have to give all credit to Mandeep Singh for the way he played. It was not as fluent a knock as I wanted it to be but I guess it all comes with experience. I struggled in the first few overs but I fought it through and I was lucky to be there in the end to express myself,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by ‘iplt20.com’.
Asked if his batting at No. 3 gives RCB a chance of winning, de Villiers said: “It does give me a chance to pace my innings and build it in cases like the one (against Rajasthan Royals). This wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on. I wouldn’t have been able to get those shots away in the slog overs had I just come in to bat. “I tried to do it earlier in my innings but I failed. That is why I say a lot of credit should go to Mandeep. He helped me get a bit of momentum by my side and it paid off.” De Villiers said he was happy to play a part in the development of the youngsters in the side.
“What would life be without having a good influence on other people? That is what it is all about. I am trying to make a positive influence on some young players in the team and if Mandeep says I have, it makes me a very happy man. It feels like I am achieving my goal, which ultimately is to make a positive contribution to the lives of people around me. “What impresses me the most about Mandeep is that he has a very cool head over his shoulders and he makes good decisions under pressure,” said de Villiers. Meanwhile Mandeep said he tries to emulate de Villiers.
“Whatever he has taught me, I have straightaway incorporated those things in my game. It is already helping me in my game and I can see a lot of positive results in my batting,” admitted Mandeep. Stating that it was is like a “dream come true” to be sharing a century stand with de Villiers, Mandeep said, “When we were just around 60 runs in 10 overs, we just wanted to bat and try to build a partnership from there on. We wanted to keep things simple and watch the ball closely and hit it. “I knew if AB spent a little more time in the middle, he would get ruthless in the end. I had the confidence that AB would see us through.” Mandeep said initially they were looking at a target of 150 but reaching 180 was satisfying.
“AB de Villiers and I thought that anything around 150 would be great and finishing on 180 was very satisfying. I think the occasion of this innings makes it a lot more valuable. Getting an important knock in the eliminator is really heartening because it was a big occasion. I feel I played really well in this game,” he said.