In his column for the Times of India, de Villiers wrote, “There won’t be many people in India who are not aware of the startling reality that we have lost our first five matches in the 2019 IPL; played five, lost five. Hopefully, the leading directors in Bollywood have been following our trials and tribulations as well. The stage is surely set for one of the great sporting movies of all time. Is it possible? Is it imaginable that this team can recover from the depths of despair, discover form and momentum, embark upon a winning run, rise from last place on the table, qualify for the play-offs and enjoy a fairytale triumph? We will see. As players, we are as disappointed and angry as our supporters, but we are ready for this fight and we will battle for every inch.”
De Villiers confessed that his team was left shocked after the brutal assault by Andre Russell who smashed 48 off 13 balls to power Kolkata Knight Riders to victory.
“Our most recent defeat, at home to KKR on Friday night, was particularly hard to accept. Batting first on a sticky wicket, we posted a total of 205 when a par score was around 180. That should have been enough, and it looked as though we would secure our first win when KKR needed no fewer than 52 runs from the last 16 balls. Enter Andre Russell… 6 off a no ball, 6, 6, 1 off a wide, 1, 1, 1, 6, 6, 6, 4, 6, 1… and, all of a sudden, we were left stunned, beaten with five balls to spare,” de Villiers added.
Undeterred by five successive defeats, de Villiers cited the example of Mumbai Indians who had lost their first five matches in the 2014 season but still managed to reach the playoffs.
“Full credit to the West Indian power-hitter. We should not be faltering under pressure. For inspiration, we look to the never-say-die Mumbai Indians, who first lost their first five matches in the 2014 IPL but recovered to reach the playoffs, and who then, the following year, lost their first four matches before bouncing back to win the title,” de Villiers concluded.