“I’m excited to play in the three T20’s,” he said at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday. “It was a tough few days after being knocked out of the Champions Trophy; going through the phase of reflecting, hearing the criticism, which is never easy. I have always been the person to try and see the positive and the opportunity to improve, these three matches give me that opportunity as a player and as captain of the team.
“We have a few new faces here,” he added. “It’s great to work with some of the new players, it has always been one of my dreams to give back what I have learnt over the years. I’m getting that opportunity with some of the youngsters in the team, it’s great to see the talent coming through and we are excited to start tomorrow.”
Both squads have rewarded domestic performances with the inclusion of some unfamiliar faces, which gives the series an exciting element of the unknown. The Proteas won the last T20I series between the two teams 2-0 in 2016.
Although the date of the next ICC World T20 tournament is yet to be confirmed, De Villiers says bilateral T20 series are important and relevant for the international game. He believes the T20 Global League heading to South Africa in November and December will be another incentive to unearth potential stars.
“They are important,” he said of bilateral T20 series. “It’s important for the ICC and the franchise tournaments going on to get the right balance in the future for all players to feel they know where they are going with their careers. Franchise cricket played a huge role in my career, the IPL changed my life completely. It upped my skills as a player, as a youngster I got to know different conditions, played with some of my heroes.