READY FOR A CHALLENGE:  AB de Villiers at the KFC Sponsorship announcement held at Bidvest Wanderers  Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. KFC was named as an international  sponsor of the Proteas for the next three years. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
READY FOR A CHALLENGE: AB de Villiers at the KFC Sponsorship announcement held at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. KFC was named as an international sponsor of the Proteas for the next three years. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

PROTEAS limited-overs captain AB de Villiers has expressed his support for a new-look Twenty20 side ahead of the three-match series against New Zealand next week.

The national squad for the series is set to be named in Cape Town on Thursday and De Villiers expects fresh faces after South Africa’s disappointing ICC World Twenty20 exit before the semifinal stage.

"You’ve got to keep the Twenty20 team fresh and exciting, and it’s a great vehicle to get youngsters through into international cricket," De Villiers said on Wednesday.

"We want to try fresh faces and there will definitely be a few new names because there are youngsters who have really performed at domestic level and we need to give them a chance. These new players will bring different talents and skills, which is exciting."

The general trend in international cricket has been for countries to use Twenty20 specialists rather than relying on Test players, and De Villiers said it was clear South Africa would have to go further down that road.

"The Test players have played a big part in the T20 side, but that might change in future and you’ll probably see a team with a whole different look."

Fresh off his thrilling 100 in the series-clinching Test victory over Australia in Perth, De Villiers returned to limited-overs action at the weekend with a century for the Titans, albeit in a losing cause against the Cape Cobras in their One-Day Cup eliminator.

"That was one of my better hundreds, because it was against a really good attack. You can tell the standard of domestic cricket is very good from that match, and I like to play domestic cricket when it’s like international cricket."

New Zealand have had two blows with the loss of injured spinner Dan Vettori and the unavailability of former captain Ross Taylor, and De Villiers said that the hosts should beat the Black Caps if they play to their full potential.

"New Zealand are always a dangerous side. They beat us in the World Cup and they’re really tough to beat when they get things right. But we know we’re the favourites and if we play good cricket, then we should win.

"We may have new players, but we’ll use the same strategy and follow the same game plan."

Sapa