De Villiers says hosts are under pressure

South Africa’s ODI captain AB de Villiers admitted that the hosts were indeed “under pressure” going into the first ODI against India. He was speaking at a pre-match media conference on Wednesday.

Excerpts:

On pressure: We are under pressure, playing in our own country and that is a bit unusual for us. We have just lost a series at home, so the confidence is not very high. Some of the knowledgeable people will say that we are underdogs. But there is no way we will stand back and allow that to happen.

There is no chance we will accept that. At home we cannot afford to be called the underdogs. If we play to our full potential, no one can stop us here.

On the pitch: I have had a look at the wicket and there’s a lot of grass on it. It hasn’t seen a lot of sun yet. But it should play the same over the course of 100 overs. Whether we bat first or second, or bowl first or second, I am not too fussed about that.

On his team’s lack of 300-plus totals: It is because we haven’t played in India for some time now (says jokingly). In South Africa, you do not see a lot of scores around 300 and perhaps in this series as well, we might not get to see that. Only occasionally, do we come across a wicket in South Africa where 300 or 300-plus is possible.

On India’s batting strength: India are an all-round good side, but yes, their strength lies mainly in the batting. They have posted some very high scores in the last few matches, and all their batsmen seem to be in good form. But playing at home, our bowlers have the skill to counter that.

On India’s bowling: There is no doubt that India are certainly not the best bowling attack in the world. But there will be assistance for them here and sometimes when you try to get on top of them, they tend to get a lot of wickets.

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