De Villiers Ready To Take On 'Dangerous' Pakistan
If the Test series between the two sides was a complete mismatch at times, AB de Villiers is expecting a much more even contest when South Africa take on Pakistan in two Twenty20 Internationals later this week.
The 2009 ICC World Twenty20 champions beat South Africa during last year's renewal in Sri Lanka and wicket-keeper de Villiers says they are a 'dangerous' side.
"I have seen the names in their T20 squad and there are some serious cricketers out there," de Villiers said. "We are playing in our home conditions so we have some confidence from that but they are a dangerous side.
"They don’t only have world-class players but they have experience as well. They have won World Cups before; they are a really good team and I think they will be a good challenge for us."
Few teams can claim to have a better Twenty20 pedigree than Pakistan. Not only did they win the global title in 2009, but they were finalists in 2007 and semi-finalists in both 2010 and 2012.
Like South Africa, they have used the format to give young players their chance to impress - notably Mohammad Amir, Shahzaib Hasan and Raza Hasan - and for de Villiers, giving young players who have played well in domestic cricket the opportunity to perform at the top level is important.
"It is a nice way of giving youngsters a chance to perform and to showcase their talent. I definitely see why we are doing that, there are so many youngsters that have come through that have won games for their domestic teams on a regular basis."
As for de Villiers, who bucked the modern trend by making his international debut by playing for the Test team, back in 2004, he says he still struggles to get to grips with Twenty20 International cricket - which he didn't play until 2006.
"I still haven’t found my rhythm in T20 cricket for South Africa," he admitted. "I feel we haven’t played a lot, so it’s difficult to find your way when we play one or two matches in a series then three or four months down the line you play another one."
Nevertheless, he remains confident that as thoughts turn towards the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, this South Africa team will overcome any such problems.
"The squad we have now will not change too much over the next 12 months,” he added. “If we play a lot of cricket together the results will start to show," he added.
The first Twenty20 International in Durban takes place on Friday (1st Match) before the final game at Eat London on Sunday (3rd March).
© Cricket World 2013
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