London, June 10: India captain Virat Kohli today (June 10) said they will try to stop AB de Villiers from scoring big when the two sides meet in a virtual quarterfinal at ICC Champions Trophy 2017 tomorrow (June 11). (Match preview)
It has been a quiet tournament so far for South Africa skipper De Villiers. He was out for a golden duck against Pakistan in the previous game. In the opening contest, he was dismissed for just 4 against Sri Lanka. (Kohli speaks on Ashwin selection)
On the eve of the match, Kohli was asked about the right-hander's form and a possibility of him coming good on Sunday.
Kohli said, "I empathise with him (De Villiers). I go through this a lot, as well. When you have set standards for yourself and then people get shocked. You know, he's by far the most coveted cricketer I've ever seen around, and the reason for that was trying to do something extra for his team and that's the kind of character he's always been."
He continued, "So, yeah, I'm not - I wouldn't say I'm shocked. I know AB quite well, so I know the reason behind, you know, his mindset of playing like that. Yeah, but at the same time, he can come out and when he's in the right frame of mind and on his day and he's in the mood; then it doesn't matter what he's done in the past games or how many runs he's scored or not scored. If he decides to play the way he can, you know you have to find a way to get him out pretty quickly.
"So yeah, we'll look to stop not only him but all their batsmen. I think they are a quality side and you need to respect every batsman equally. Yeah, that's the kind of mindset we will go in with tomorrow."
Both Kohli and De Villiers were team-mates at Royal Challengers Banglaore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).