SOUTHAMPTON, England - AB de Villiers has three matches left on this UK tour, and he has some pretty simple ambitions for the next three matches in five days.
“I just want to score some runs again,” De Villiers said. “And hopefully captain the guys to a couple of wins.”
On a trip where things haven’t quite gone according to plan, De Villiers intends on finishing on a good note. It has been maddening for him to feel in decent touch, but not being able to transfer that feeling into figures on the board.
His pedigree is in no doubt, which is why those who have seen him at his best have been puzzled by his barren spell.
“I feel I’m playing very well. I had a couple of bad dismissals in those first two games (of the ICC Champions Trophy), and then in the third game I felt like I was going to score 200 off five balls! Then I got run-out,” he sighed.
And yet, despite the false dawns, the broken plans and the early exit in a tour of discontent, De Villiers remains in good spirits.
“As I said at the start of the tour, I feel like a youngster just starting out my career again," De Villiers said.
“I don’t feel like I need to prove anyone wrong, or prove myself to anyone. I know that I am a good player, and I also know that this team can achieve.”
What De Villiers is done doing is looking back and dwelling on what has already been for too long. The criticism stung, he admits, but there is nothing else to be done. Now he has three matches ahead of him, before he goes home, ahead of a Test series that will be poorer without his considerable presence.
“I will regroup and sit down with CSA again. It was never about me picking and choosing games,” he said of his time-management decision at the start of the year.
“It was about prioritising... in order to get to the (2019) World Cup in the best shape that I can be."