AB de Villiers insists he has nothing to prove ahead of the Proteas’ T20 series against England starting on Wednesday evening.
The dynamic middle-order batter will be captaining the side in the absence of Faf du Plessis.
And, to place even more of a burden on him, he’s also tasked with providing runs in an inexperienced batting order.
“I’m not concerned about my form,” said De Villiers ahead of the opening battle in Southampton.
“Look, you want to score hundreds and win games for your country as much as you can. I haven’t done that in my last few games. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone but I need runs. There’s nothing more rewarding than scoring runs.”
The 33-year-old only scored 20 runs in 3 Champions Trophy innings and predictably copped much of the flak for South Africa’s failed campaign.
But it’s not something that’s going to weigh De Villiers down.
“It’s much easier now, the first few days were really tough listening to some of the criticism, which I didn’t take too personally,” he said.
“You sometimes listen to it and take the positives out of it and move forward.”
Following criticism from two former Proteas – Ashwell Prince and Herschelle Gibbs – over what they perceive to be nit-picking on his part, De Villiers maintains he’s not dictating when he wants to play international cricket.
Both pundits believe Cricket South Africa (CSA) is giving De Villiers free reign on the matter.
“It’s important for me to be fresh physically and mentally moving forward,” he said.
“I’ll re-asses with CSA when I get back. I’ve mentioned this many times now, my focus is on the 2019 World Cup. Not all of it, there’s a lot of cricket to be played. I have a great responsibility on my shoulders leading the one-day side in other games. I want to give my best but I need to be strong and fit to do that.”