Cape Town – Proteas star batsman AB de Villiers says he is prepared to “work really hard” in order to be selected for the Test series against India next year.
Last month, De Villiers revealed that he will once again be available for Test selection after taking a sabbatical from the longer format of the game.
The 33-year-old has not played red-ball cricket since January 2016 and was sorely missed in the batting order as the Proteas suffered a 3-1 series defeat in England in mid year.
De Villiers said that making a comeback into Ottis Gibson’s Test squad will be a challenge and he is targeting India’s tour to South Africa, which is set to begin in early January 2018.
“The last 12 months have been very important to me. Just really finding my feet again. In a way pressing the reset button,” said De Villiers at an event in India, as quoted by the Hindustan Times website.
“It is not that I can just walk into the team. I have to work hard for it. I am prepared to work really hard to be selected to play against India.”
When he revealed his Test availability, De Villiers also stepped down as captain of the ODI team.
De Villiers says he is happy with his decision to step down and is raring to go ahead of the busy cricket schedule looming ahead in South Africa.
“To feel happy in my life at the end of the day having stepped down from ODI captaincy,” he said.
“I feel very refreshed, revived and ready to go again. I have very quickly realised that it (cricket) is the most important thing in my life.
“I just want to enjoy the last few years of my career. Whether it is three to five to seven years that I don’t know,” said De Villiers.
De Villiers also emphasised his allegiance to the Proteas ahead of any T20 tournament – including the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“IPL has been an incredible lesson to me and my family,” he said, as quoted by the Indian publication.
“I have enjoyed every second of my stay in the country and hopefully many more years to come. But cricket in South Africa will always take priority for me and I think it’s for any South African born.”