Chester-Le-Street: South Africa captain AB de Villiers has insisted his side are looking forward to the prospect of three Twenty20s against England, despite having already been on tour for two months.
Wicket-keeper batsman de Villiers has been an ever-present in all eight internationals so far this tour, with South Africa winning a three-match Test series 2-0 before sharing the one-day internationals 2-2, with one no result, following a dominant seven-wicket win at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
The Proteas' limited overs captain is now set to lead his county in three T20 matches against England, the World Twenty20 champions, ahead of the upcoming World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this month.
"We've got a few new faces coming into the squad," de Villiers said Friday ahead of Saturday's Twenty20 opener against England at Chester-le-Street, the home of north-east county Durham.
"We need that, a fresh look again, after being here for a long time."
And he believes the nature of international cricket's shortest format will guard against the side feeling stale, with star all-rounder Jacques Kallis set to be raring to go after being given a break during the 50-over one-day series.
"Twenty20s fly by," he said. "You can almost see the finish line now.
"Even though we've been here for a while, and some of the guys are mentally a bit tired, this format really energises you.
"We're very motivated to do well, in this series and the 'World Cup' coming up.
"The guys have played enough cricket in recent months, and are all ready to go. There is no one rusty."
De Villiers, pressed into action as a wicket-keeper for the Test matches when Mark Boucher suffered a career-ending eye injury in an early tour match, has had a heavier workload than most of the Proteas squad.
However, he insisted: "I'm very fresh and ready to go.
"I'm enjoying the game more than I ever have, and loving this challenge of the captaincy, gloves and batting. It's keeping me busy, on my toes, and I believe it brings out the best in me."
And he added the team in Sri Lanka would be picked on form, not reputation.
"I'm a big believer, if a guy is playing well and has confidence, he'll do well pretty much anywhere," de Villiers said. "The guys who do well here will definitely be my first pick, going to Sri Lanka."