AB de Villiers Biography
Delightful drives, breath-taking reverse sweeps, electric fielding and running between the wickets. AB de Villiers is nothing short of a sensation — be it in whites or colours.
He is the face of the modern cricketer — the batsman who knows no limits to strokeplay, for whom audacity is no fetter for temperament. He rules the batting world in Test cricket, remains the best exponent of the reverse-sweep, perches at the pinnacle of ODIs with an incredible average-strike-rate combination, and is the biggest draw in the IPL. And his job does not end with putting runs on the board.
A hundred and a world record equalling eleven catches in the same Test match just about manage to scratch the surface of his versatility. And then there is the little matter of captaincy — where he is on the verge of taking on more and more responsibility; de Villiers has many quivers in his arrow, each one of them with a gilded tip.
At home against the fastest of bowlers, and twinkle toed against the canniest of spinners, de Villiers has faced the sternest of tests in every land and has always come through in flying colours with hundreds in Australia and England and double-hundreds at Ahmedabad at Abu Dhabi. He is one of the few touched with enough genius to commit to the stroke after the ball has pitched.
On the field he is an athlete — immensely gifted, quick and thrilling. Even when he does not don the big gloves, he remains a fantastic fielder — perhaps the best produced by South Africa since Jonty Rhodes. And one knows this is tantamount to outshining a constellation of extraordinary brilliance — the Protean cricketers have not exactly dragged their feet since the days Rhodes patrolled cover point. Curiously, even when he crouches behind the stumps in Test matches, his performance in front does not take a beating – unlike the other great batsman wicketkeepers including Clyde Walcott and Kumar Sangakkara.
While often residing in the rarest echelons of stroke-making, including hundreds at absurd rates across formats, when required he demonstrates the other uncanny facet of his batsmanship — that of saving matches with virtual strokelessness for hours. He can hit a 59-ball102 and a 228-ball 43 with equal élan.
He could have chosen and excelled at any sport, but opted for cricket — and thus became the crowning glory of the modern game.