AB de Villiers. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
AB de Villiers. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

The balance of the Proteas side gives captain AB de Villiers hope they will do well in the Champions Trophy to be held in the UK in June.

SA start their campaign against Sri Lanka at The Oval on June 3 in London, where they will aim for a solid performance to set the tone for the rest of the tournament.

De Villiers said balance was their biggest asset because they tick all the boxes with bat‚ ball and fielding.

"Our biggest strength is the balance we have in the squad. I believe we cover all the bases when it comes to spin‚ seam and proper pace bowling," De Villiers said at the team’s departure from Johannesburg.

"We also have an amazing bowling lineup, which is similar to the one that we had at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and prior to that.

"The other important thing for us is that we have played together for a while now‚" De Villiers said.

De Villiers‚ who in 2016 controversially opted against some of SA’s tours to manage his workload‚ added he would be disappointed if the Proteas fail to claim the trophy.

"We have been playing some good cricket over the last few years including the 2015 World Cup‚ which was a disappointment. But we have raised the bar and picked ourselves up. We go there with confidence and we would like to win the trophy.

"I have not won a Champions Trophy before and obviously the desire is there. Lots has happened in my career individually and I have shifted my focus to this kind of tournament that I have not won before."

Fast adaptation to English conditions would be important.

"England is a little bit different to some of the countries that we have played [in] because you get a little of everything over there.

"There is the Edgbaston wicket that turns a little sometimes" and some wickets provided movement for the new ball, he said.

"It is a good, balanced cricket destination where you have to cover all the bases to be able to play a good brand of cricket in a tournament like this.

"You have to be able to adapt to those conditions that change all the time."

Proteas team management have banned the player’s wives and girlfriends from the national team for the duration of the Champions Trophy in a bid to have the squad fully focused on the event.

"I think it is a good move not to have family members during the tournament. It is a short tournament of only five games in total if you go to the final.

"It’s going to be all focus on preparations and the team‚" said De Villiers.

De Villiers said the wives and partners would be with them on tour for the first two weeks during the three-match series against England before the Champions Trophy. They will then return home to allow the players to focus on the tournament.

TMG Digital

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