South Africa batsman and now wicketkeeper AB de Villiers is relieved not to be facing Andrew Flintoff in England this month, but says Stuart Broad can easily ruffle the Proteas’ feathers like ‘Freddie’ did in 2008
De Villiers, stepping into the keeping role in the wake of Mark Boucher’s eye injury and retirement, has heaped praise on England’s bowling attack, saying both sides have superb line-ups for the Test series.
The ODI skipper said: “Flintoff is not there any more, thanks goodness for that. He was one of the best bowlers I ever faced but Broady has improved a lot. And there’s Jimmy Anderson and Tim Bresnan - they are all good
“They’re a very balanced attack - even (Graeme) Swanny, who’s a very attacking off-spin bowler. He takes a lot of wickets so we’ve got to be watchful for all of those.
“This series has probably the two best bowling line-ups in the world, and both batting line-ups are going to have a lot to think about over the next few months.”
Of his potential upcoming stint behind the stumps, De Villiers admitted he wasn’t sure of things yet, and that Thami Tsolekile could still don the gloves at the Oval next week.
The 28-year-old said: “We are still deciding on the tactics. I am very excited as I have always been up for challenges.
“Whatever is best for the team and maybe it is that I take the gloves. I don’t think it leaves us with a bad balance and it probably opens up an extra spot for another batsman or bowler.
“I have really been working on my keeping. I have been keeping in the IPL (Indian Premier League) and in the ODIs and T20s for the Proteas. I feel as though I am improving with the gloves.”