BENGALURU: Dismissing popular perception, AB de Villiers today said he is not a nice guy on the field and, if required, can go to any extent in sledging and get someone like "Virat Kohli off his game by talking about the little flaws" in his batting.
Set to play in his landmark 100th match in the second Test against India here on Saturday, the South African batting lynchpin, perceived to be a friendly player among cricketers, said he is not a nice guy once he enters the cricket field.
"I'm not a nice guy on the field. I want to win games. I'll do whatever it takes for us to win games of cricket. If I have to sledge, I'll get involved like that. I'll try and intimidate a player if I have to. I'll try and get Virat off
his game by talking about his technique and little flaws. I don't mind doing things like that, whatever it takes to win games of cricket.
"I've never really respected a guy who's been a 'nice guy' on the field. I want opposition to be hard, to play to win games for their team. Off the field, I try to be a good human being and it's got nothing to do with cricket. I know my role in the side and that's to win games for my team. A lot of times I don't have to be a nice guy to do that."
De Villiers said he tries to be a good human being off the field.
"Off the field, I try and be a good human being. It goes a lot deeper than that; it's got nothing to do with cricket."
De Villiers today said that his forays into other sports have helped him mould into the cricketer that he is today.
The 31-year-old de Villiers excelled at various sports like rugby, football, hockey and badminton before taking up cricket as a career and contemporary cricket's best batsman said that itself has actually given him an edge over others.
"All kinds of sports while growing up shaped me into the cricketer I am today. I don't think I can turn my back on that. I played a lot of ball sports in a sports crazy family. Two older brothers that always kept me busy in the backyard with all kinds of games," de Villiers told reporters here.
"My parents were never against me playing all kinds of sports. They always let me make my own decisions and that's a valuable lesson growing up. They allowed me to spread my wings and to do my own things. It was completely my own decision to go into cricket.
"I think my dad would have liked me to be a doctor or to go to university and get a degree but he'll obviously be happy with where I am at the moment and the career I've chosen and what I've achieved with my cricket. Same with my mom, no pressure from her side. My family gave me a lot of opportunities to express my talent," he said.
De Villiers said he is not under any pressure though he will be playing in a landmark Test.
"I don't feel any pressure because it's my 100th Test; I feel pressure because we're 1-0 down. It's a huge honour to play my 100th Test and never in my life I thought I'll be in this kind of position. I feel humbled and privileged to get the opportunity to walk out onto the field in my 100th Test," said de Villiers who has scored 7685 Test runs in 99 matches at an average of 51.92.
"I've never put too much pressure on myself. I just want to have an impact on the game. That's the kind of pressure I'm feeling. I want to play my role and get into a position where we can win this Test and get back into the series."
Talking further about his 100th Test, the Protea said he would have been happy to play the match at any venue across the world.
"I've never been very fundamental about these kind of things. I don't care where I play my 100th Test. I would have been okay if it's in Bangladesh as well. I didn't mind where I played my 50th; I don't mind where I play any of my Test matches," de Villiers said.
"Representing my country is a great honour. But I have to add that playing in Bangalore is really special for me. I love coming here. I enjoy touring India in general. I love coming here for the IPL," he said.
Asked about comparisons with West Indies batting legend Viv Richards, he said he never puts himself "up on the pedestal".
"I have watched him (Richards) play a little bit, some of the highlights, and he was an incredible player. I don't like to be compared to other players. I never put myself up on the pedestal. I just enjoy the game of cricket. I know I've been playing well this year and I'd love to extend that run of form. But more importantly, I'd like to have an impact on us winning cricket games.
"I'd like us to win this Test. That's the only focus I have at the moment. I know it's my 100th Test match. My current form ... people are comparing me to other players, but all I really want is for us to win games of cricket."
The explosive batsman said he has many special moments to savour in his illustrious career.
"My mind goes to a lot of series victories away from home -- couple of times in England, couple of times in Australia. We've had a few good Test series here -- haven't won it yet but a couple of draws which was big time against what people expected us to achieve.
"Lots of Test matches come to mind, obviously the Sri Lankan Test series win as well. Lots of away victories. At home, it's also special to play in front of your home crowd, but people don't expect you to do well away from home and we've had a really good record," he said.
"It tells a story about the character we have in the side, the resilience -- not only as a cricket team but a nation as well. Makes me very proud to have been part of a Test cricket team touring all over the world and winning games. We're in India now and it would be another good story to come back from this (with a win)."
Asked about his uncanny ability to switch from one from of the game to another, de Villiers said he never found it tough.
"I've never thought about it too much and I've never found it that difficult. I like the challenge of changing. I've always enjoyed challenging myself, adapting to different conditions -- challenges in life and cricket. I don't mind
change. I believe it brings out the best in people if you're accepting it. I like changing formats and the challenges it brings to your mental strength. That's what it's all about."