De Villiers relishing England ODI challenge


AB de Villiers does not expect South Africa's Test woes to have an impact on the one-day international side in the five-match series against England.

The Proteas have slipped two places to third in the ICC Test rankings following back-to-back series defeats against India and England.

South Africa did manage a consolation victory over England in the final Test at Centurion, though, and won their last two ODI series' against India and New Zealand.

De Villiers, who now captains both the Test and the ODI side, is determined to make further strides in the 50-over format.

Speaking on the eve of the first ODI in Bloemfontein, the batsman said: "It's a new challenge and a new series. We have to keep that consistency going with us, batting really well.

"One of the reasons that I can think of for our success in ODI cricket is that we have had the same top seven for a long time, it's been the same names for a few series' in a row, actually since the World Cup.

"We have had the same names operating so it's about confidence. With the Test team there have been quite a few names coming in and out of the team, we are still finding our feet there, there is a bit of a rebuilding phase with the Test side."

England also won their last ODI series against Pakistan and captain Eoin Morgan believes the presence of players who also featured in the 2-1 Test series victory could be crucial.

He said: "Any away tour is about learning on your feet as quickly as you can, and adapting to conditions.

"One advantage we have had in this tour, more than before, is that there are more guys who were in the Test team - which is good. They have been here quite a bit and can share information, so learning on our feet is one massive objective.

"The other is the fact we have pushed our boundaries over the last eight months we have been together, [and it] is becoming the norm.

"The further we can do that and the longer we can prolong that I think the better the side we will be when it comes to international tournaments."

England have a doubt over opening batsman Jason Roy (back), while paceman Marchant de Lange could and all-rounder David Wiese are in contention to come into the Proteas side.