Touted as one of the best batsman of modern day cricket, the South African star AB de Villiers has aroused innumerable audiences and cricketers all the same, with his batting prowess. In the ever changing scenario of world cricket where hundreds of talents come and go, AB de Villiers is like an anchor – grounded, and holding the South Africa cricket steady. As he celebrates his 34th happy birthday on Saturday (17 February), we look at 5 quotes that define the cricketing champion, AB de Villiers.
Ab de Villiers is not only known for dominating all formats of cricket with his batting dexterity, but also for the excellent acrobatic sense of fielding that he brings to the game. But certainly, De Villiers’ most distinct quality that he has brought to cricket is his ability to play shots however he decides to. His knack to not fall victim to the bowler’s game, and hit the ball in all directions earned him the famous tag – Mr. 360.
1. Has changed the game of cricket
The cricketer had stormed the world of cricket right since his Test debut in 2004. Acknowledging the stalwart’s impact on the game, former India captain Rahul Dravid said,
“AB de Villiers is changing the rules of the game.”
2. AB de Villiers is dangerous
The South Africa batsman was ruled out of the first three ODIs of the six-match ODI series against India, which took place in South Africa. Resultantly, South Africa were overpowered by the Indian team with a result 3-0. However, AB de Villiers returned in the 4th ODI, and unsurprisingly, South Africa bounced back. Ahead of his return, South Africa cricketer Chris Morris said,
“AB is AB, apart from what he brings on the field it’s what he also brings off it. I don’t think he is feeling any added pressure. He is just going to come in and be AB de Villiers. I think AB de Villiers being AB de Villiers is a very dangerous player. He brings that calmness and experience. To have a world-class player come back into the side is a special occasion.”
3. Virat Kohli is a fan
Team India captain Virat Kohli has established himself as one of cricket’s best, too. Kohli has been busy breaking cricketing records and has been drawing parallels from Sachin Tendulkar. However, Kohli is convinced that it is the South African star, who is the best batsman in the world.
“AB de Villiers is the best batsman in the world by far. He shows it again and again.”
4. Greater than the almighty Viv Richards
The Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1978, Bob Willis, who was a first-class England cricketer in his own time, compared the modern day cricketing great AB de Villiers with the greatest cricketer of the classic cricketing era, West Indies cricketer Viv Richards. Richards was voted one of the five Cricketers of the Century by a 100-member panel of experts in 2000, along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne.
However, for Bob Willis, it was the South African who was the greatest. Willis said,
“I have been saying for the past 30 years that Viv Richards has to be the batsman of all time but I am going to have reassess that because this guy is something extraordinary.”
5. Glenn Maxwell’s idol is AB de Villiers
The 29-year-old Australia cricketer conceded that he had grown up wanting to play cricket just the way the South African had been playing. To quote Maxwell’s words,
“Someone I’ve always watched and looked up to. He’s an absolute class act and someone that I try to base my game on.”