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AB de Villiers’ ton against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular series another testament to his place as a modern great

AB de Villiers © AFP
AB de Villiers has scored 855 runs in 17 matches against Australia at an average of 61.1 © AFP

AB de Villiers scored a superb unbeaten 136 off just 106 balls against Australia at Harare in the second One-Day International (ODI) of the Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014. In doing so, he gave another illustration of why he is such a highly rated player. Shiamak Unwalla brings you more on the topic.

Adjectives tend to get thrown around a lot when it comes to describing certain players, especially AB de Villiers. To call most players a “great batsman across all three formats” would be overkill; to call de Villiers that, however, is simply being truthful.

Since his debut in 2004, only four batsmen have scored more runs than de Villiers in all formats of the game. Below is the list of top five run-scorers in all formats of the game since 2004:

Player

Period

M

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

Kumar Sangakkara (SL)

2004-2014

434

47

21756

319

49.2

67.57

50

123

Mahela Jayawardene (SL)

2004-2014

424

42

17481

374

40.1

65.69

35

96

Michael Clarke (Aus)

2004-2014

365

64

16084

329*

46

65.33

35

80

Ricky Ponting (Aus)

2004-2012

301

30

15152

221

44.6

69.7

36

91

AB de Villiers (SA)

2004-2014

317

51

15004

278*

46.7

70.14

37

78

Unsurprisingly, it is Kumar Sangakkara who rules the roost with a staggering 21,756 runs. His 50 centuries and 123 fifties are also by far the most by anyone in the top five. However, it is worth noting that de Villiers has played far fewer games compared to Sangakkara, who has had the highest number of appearances among the top five during this period.

If one looks at the top five run scorers across formats since the year 2009, de Villiers features more prominently:

Player

Period

M

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

Kumar Sangakkara (SL)

2009-2014

243

29

12649

319

50.79

67.67

29

75

Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL)

2009-2014

224

23

9656

193

42.16

86.42

28

43

AB de Villiers (SA)

2009-2014

181

33

9371

278*

53.85

74.48

27

48

Michael Clarke (Aus)

2009-2014

178

29

9303

329*

48.45

65.28

23

41

Mahela Jayawardene (SL)

2009-2014

228

18

9133

275

37.73

66.55

17

52

Again, it is Sangakkara leading the way, but he has played the most matches here as well. Here though, de Villiers tops the batting averages, with an average of 53.85 and a strike rate of 74.48 to boot.

When one takes into consideration only ODIs since 2009, de Villiers’ value is highlighted even more:

Player

Period

M

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

0

Kumar Sangakkara (SL)

2009-2014

144

12

5883

169

46.69

82.21

9

43

6

Virat Kohli (India)

2009-2014

130

18

5475

183

52.64

90.75

19

29

10

Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL)

2009-2014

135

13

5428

160*

45.23

88.96

16

23

6

AB de Villiers (SA)

2009-2014

89

18

4371

136*

63.34

101.5

15

23

1

MS Dhoni (India)

2009-2014

119

35

4163

139*

61.22

87.86

5

30

2

Here, the top two batsmen should not be a surprise, as Sangakkara again sits at the top, with Virat Kohli at No 2. However, it should be noted that de Villiers has played less than 100 ODIs in this period. His average of 63.64 is the best by far — even better than that of “Mr Finisher” MS Dhoni — as is his strike rate of 101.5. He also has just one duck in 89 matches — admirable when compared with Kohli’s 10.

With his ton against Australia, de Villiers furthered his reputation of Aussie-bashing. When looking at the batsmen with the best averages against Australia in ODIs since 2004 who have played at least 10 matches against them, de Villiers leads the way by a long margin:

Player

Period

M

NO

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

AB de Villiers (SA)

2006-2014

17

3

855

136*

61.1

95.74

1

6

Virat Kohli (India)

2009-2013

15

2

608

118

55.3

100.66

3

2

Rohit Sharma (India)

2007-2013

16

3

684

209

52.6

94.34

2

2

Jos Buttler (Eng)

2013-2014

10

2

346

75

49.4

127.2

0

3

Jonathan Trott (Eng)

2011-2013

15

3

591

137

49.3

76.55

2

3

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

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