Kallis helped me in negotiating spin: De Villiers

April 4th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by admin  

By Avishek Roy
Ahmedabad, April 4 (IANS) South African middle-order batsman A.B. de Villiers Friday said that senior pro Jacques Kallis played a significant role in his maiden double century as the veteran had taught him how to bat on the sub-continental pitches. De Villiers (unbeaten 217) and Kallis (132) registered a record fifth-wicket partnership of 256 to help South Africa pile up 494 for seven against India at the Sardar Patel Stadium here Friday. The duo surpassed the 236-run record set by Gary Kirsten and Andrew Hudson against the Indians in 1996-97 at Port Elizabeth.

“It was great to bat with Jacques (Kallis). He is a very calming influence on me. As a senior player he has helped me a lot with my technique, especially against spinners. He always motivates younger players,” De Villiers said at the team hotel after the day’s play.

“I just stuck to my basics. Jacques kept on motivating me with useful tips from the other hand,” he added.

Though De villiers notched up his career best Test knock Friday, surpassing his previous best of 178 against West Indies at Bridgetown in 2005, he still considers his second innings’ 97 against New Zealand at Centurion in 2006 close to his heart.

“This innings of 217 is close to my best. But the 97 that I scored against New Zealand at Centurion came under difficult conditions and I still consider that as my best. However, getting a double century away from home will certainly be one of my favourites,” he said.

He said his hard work on his technique in the last few months has worked wonders for him. “The key to batting in sub-continent is to have a good technique against spinners. Last few months I have worked hard on my technique and it is great to see the result.”

Asked about the condition of the pitch in the early hours Friday, De Villiers said: “It was quite difficult to bat in the morning session today. But off late we were accustomed to sub-continental tracks and we have proved that we can play spin given the conditions here.”

He also reposed faith in his team’s new ball bowlers and said that if skipper Graeme Smith decides to declare the innings Saturday morning, then the South African pacers have the firepower to dismantle the famed Indian batting line-up one more time in the match as the conditions, too, will help them after the heavy showers.

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