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AB de Villiers displayed phenomenal batting skills, says VVS Laxman

The Sunrisers Hyderabad think tank were left stunned as AB de Villiers stole the match away from them with a 41-ball 89 © IANS
The Sunrisers Hyderabad think tank were left stunned as AB de Villiers stole the match away from them with a 41-ball 89 © IANS

Bangalore: May 5, 2014

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman on Monday described their loss against Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as “disappointing” and said it was the “phenomenal” knock by AB de Villiers which took the game away from them during their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 match.

“It was disappointing loss for Hyderabad as the team was dominating most part of the game, but one special innings from one player took the game away from them,” Laxman told reporters. “I think it was one of the best innings I could see in T20 format because AB displayed phenomenal batting skills while wickets were falling at the other end,” he added. De Villiers produced one of the most devastating Twenty20 innings last night as he smashed an unbeaten 89 from just 42 balls in RCB’s dramatic four-wicket win over Hyderabad.

Laxman said Hyderabad were ten runs short as Mitchell Starc bowled a beautiful last over, restricting Hyderabad to 155 runs. “We were ten runs short. Starc bowled a brilliant last over. David Warner was out in the third delivery. I thought 155 was defendable total because of the bowling strength we got,” he added.

Asked if the team led by Shikhar Dhawan had plans for De Villiers, Laxman said: “As a captain you stick to your plan and back your bowlers.” However, for batsmen like Chris Gayle and De Villiers, nobody can set fields for them as they have the ability to hit even good balls, Laxman said.

“Special batsmen like AB and Chris Gayle — even if bowlers are bowling well, they can get boundaries and sixes which we saw yesterday — especially of Dale Steyn. They weren’t bad deliveries — they were excellent shots under pressure,” he said.

Asked about Amit Mishra’s omission, Laxman said his team went with the right combination looking at the opposition strength and playing conditions. “Mishra is a top class bowler but we went into the match considering opposition’s strength and playing conditions. They (RCB) had five powerful left-handers who are good strikers of the ball. That is the reason why we didn’t have Mishy,” he reasoned.

“Young Karn Sharma bowled brilliantly to left-hand batsmen,” Laxman added. Replying to a query, Laxman said he was enjoying his stint as a mentor. “I am really enjoying the mentor’s role where you share your experiences with the cricketers. Being involved in the game and contributing back to the game, which is phenomenal, and I am happy to do that,” he said.

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