Some cricketers rise to the top with perseverance and hard work, while others have an abundance of talent and natural ability. AB de Villiers is one of those players who have both the attributes set to the maximum.
De Villiers is a batsman who has the ability to face any bowler. Indeed, his range of extensive shots has grown over the years. He has been ranked among the top ODI and Test batsmen in the world and has established a cult-like following in T20 cricket.
De Villiers made his international debut in a Test match against England in 2004, when he was picked after just 16 first-class matches. He opened the batting in that match, and he was later moved into the middle order. AB has batted everywhere from no.1 to no.8 and has performed well in most positions.
Competing in the 2007 World Cup, De Villiers was in a good form having scored four half-centuries during the South Africa vs India/Pakistan matches. In the early stages of the tournament, he was not in a good form. Also, he failed to score on 4 occasions during the World Cup.
AB de Villiers becomes the first South African player to score a double-century against India
After the brief slump in form in 2007, AB returned with a blistering 103 not out off 109 balls against West Indies in 2008. Soon after, he became the first South African player to score a double-century against India in Ahmedabad. He topped that up with 174 in South Africa’s first series win in England and 106 in the country’s first series win in Australia. With 1061 runs at 58.94, it was AB’s best Test year.
He came close to that again in 2010 when he scored 996 runs that year. His superb unbeaten 278 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi gave him the highest individual score by a South African in Test cricket. That same year, de Villiers also managed to score three successive ODI centuries – one against West Indies and two against India.
The second time he managed to get close to four figures was in 2013 when he scored 933 runs to ensure South Africa keep the Test title they won in 2012. By that time, de Villiers has also accepted the responsibility of full-test gloveman, as well as the ODI and T20 captaincy.
De Villiers performed well with the additional responsibility, even after there were growing concerns over his chronic back injury. Owing to the workload and pressure, he gave up the T20 captaincy in 2013 but continued to play as South Africa’s main batsman.
De Villiers scored the fastest fifty and fastest century in ODI cricket
In 2015, de Villiers scored both the fastest fifty and the fastest century by a batsman in ODI cricket, off 16 balls and 31 balls respectively. He was also one of the top performers at the 2015 World Cup scoring 482 runs at a strike rate of 144.0 during the tournament.
Under the captaincy of de Villiers, South Africa qualified for the semi-finals World Cup. AB was the third-highest run-scorer with 482 runs, behind Martin Guptill and Kumar Sangakkara. After the end of the 2015 World Cup, he was ranked number 1 in the ICC rating in ODI cricket and number 3 in the ICC batsmen rating in Test cricket. Also, he was named in the ‘Team of the Tournament’ for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
De Villiers took over South Africa’s Test captaincy in 2016. However, he underwent an elbow surgery that forced him to play only one Test Series during the entire year. In December 2016, he decided to leave the captaincy, citing the reason that ‘the interest of the team must always outweigh the interest of an individual.
De Villiers has also been a crowd favourite in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is famous for its glitz and glamour. During the IPL, stadiums are crowded with fans who are there to see their favourite players on the field. Some of them show support by wearing their favourite team’s jersey, while others place bets on players or the team. People also take help of cricketbettingtips.io and other online resources to get the best tips and improve their chances of winning.
AB has been part of the IPL since its inception in 2008. But he truly became a fan favourite only when he joined The Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2011 edition. Since then, AB he proved that the money spent on him has been money well-spent – both on-field and off-field. While his versatility has made him one of the best batsmen across all formats of cricket, his mere presence has come as a shot in the arm of RCB – who haven’t won any IPL title yet.
MS Dhoni will lead the team
Recently, de Villiers picked his all-time eleven in the Indian Premier League (IPL) during a conversation with Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz. To start with, he chose Rohit Sharma, who is the most successful skipper in the history of the tournament. Rohit’s team Mumbai Indians has won the IPL titles four times in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 respectively. But instead of appointing Rohit as the captain, ABD chose MS Dhoni to lead the team.
Dhoni has also been successful in the IPL, winning the championship thrice in 2010, 2011, and 2018. Apart from Rohit, de Villiers went on to choose Virender Sehwag as his second opener. However, he left out David Warner, who is the leading run-scorer among foreign players in the IPL. Among the top five run-scorers in the IPL, Warner has the highest average and strike-rate of 43.17 and 142.39 respectively.
De Villiers zeroed in on Virat Kohli for the middle order. Kohli has 5,412 runs in the IPL with as many as five centuries. Also, he ended up scoring 1,000 runs in the 2016 IPL edition.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ben Stokes to be the all-rounders
Both AB de Villiers and Kohli play for Royal Challengers in the IPL. As for the all-rounders of his team, the former South African cricketer went for Ravindra Jadeja and Ben Stokes. Being picked by Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping amount of 14.5 crores, Stokes was the most expensive player in 2017. He managed to score 316 runs and took 12 wickets, which gave him the Player of the Tournament award. With 108 wickets and some great knocks, Jadeja hadn’t disappointed as well.
For the bowling side, ABD picked Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has 133 wickets and has also achieved the Purple Cap quite a few times. Jasprit Bumrah, Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla are the other specialist bowlers picked by ABD.
AB de Villiers’ playing eleven – Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes MS Dhoni (C & WK) Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah.