AB de Villiers has been regaining his touch for the Titans in the RamSlam T20 Challenge ahead of a possible Proteas Test comeback on Boxing Day. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CENTURION – AB de Villiers said it was “unrealistic” for players to expect a month to prepare for tours after Indian captain Virat Kohli said his team were hindered by not having enough time to get ready for their tour of South Africa next January.

Kohli said last week he felt let down by India’s cricket administrators who had not organised more time for preparation following his side’s current series with Sri Lanka.

The Proteas play the first of three Tests against India at Newlands from January 5 next year, and the Indian board announced on Monday that Kohli would miss the upcoming ODI series against the Sri Lankans in order to rest ahead of the South African trip.

“Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario. But we have to sort of make-do with what we have,” said Kohli.

In response, De Villiers said taking a month to prepare would mean sacrificing time at home.

“It’s ideal, but in a way unrealistic with the schedules you have these days. If you are prepared to do that, you won’t be home for many days during the year,” he remarked.

“Virat’s a hard worker, a disciplined guy. If that’s what it’s going to take for them to be prepared, then they’ve got to do it.

“Personally, I don’t believe in a full month of prep, because you play all the time. Preparation is key, but that is long.”

As for India utilising green pitches for their current series with Sri Lanka to help them ahead of their tour here, De Villiers said there wasn’t much benefit to be gained. 

“They are not going to face the same bowling attack. Guys that come from here know the conditions really well, know which areas to bowl, the different pitches we have here. You can over-think it,” De Villiers added.

“At the end of the day, you have to come out here, put the results on the scoreboard and that’s what it will come down to.”

Following a nearly two-year absence from Test cricket, De Villiers declared on Monday that he is “200 percent” ready to engage once more with the longest format.

The 33-year-old took a nine-month hiatus from Test cricket to refresh mind and body, but was looking forward to playing in whites for the Proteas again, with an eye on playing the day/night four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day in Port Elizabeth.

* For more from AB de Villiers, read The Star on Tuesday.


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