AB de Villiers and Royal Challengers Bangalore walk hand in hand © IANS
AB de Villiers and Royal Challengers Bangalore walk hand in hand © IANS

AB de Villiers will play the 100th Test of his outstanding career when India face off against South Africa at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. India are currently leading the four-match Test series 1-0, and yet de Villiers could well think his 100th Test will be played at a home venue. The pitch might be nothing like what one might expect at Cape Town, Durban, or Johannesburg, but the local support and love de Villiers will undoubtedly receive will be comparable. If anything has been proven this tour, it is that Indian audiences adore de Villiers. That de Villiers will reach the 100-Test landmark at Bangalore — the ground he enthralls while turning up for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Indian Premier League (IPL) — will make it that much sweeter. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 2nd Test at Bengaluru

The cheers de Villiers got on reaching his three centuries during the One-Day International (ODI) series at Kanpur, Chennai, and Mumbai would have made a casual observer think it was Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli who had got to three figures; such was the audience appreciation. It is not hard to fathom why de Villiers gets such admiration in India. He plays hard but fair (despite what he seems to think of himself), is usually breathtaking, and invariably looks unstoppable till the moment he is stopped. READ: AB de Villiers: An online journalist’s nightmare

Though de Villiers has also played for Delhi Daredevils (DD) in early editions of IPL, it is with RCB that he has become most identified by Indian audiences. In 77 matches for RCB — in both IPL and Champions League T20 (CLT20) — de Villiers has scored 1,930 runs at 38.60 with one century and 12 fifties at a strike rate of around 150. Chris Gayle might be an IPL legend, but de Villiers is somehow more relatable than the six-foot tall ‘World Boss’ (though it would be a tough call between their popularity in India). READ: AB de Villiers: Don Bradman of this generation?

To choose de Villiers’ best innings for RCB is like picking the whitest patch of land in a snowstorm. Would it be his 17-ball 47 against a Dale Steyn-led Deccan Chargers bowling attack? How about the manic 11-ball 41 against Mumbai Indians (MI)? Maybe his 59-ball 133 not out, again against MI? Surely it would be de Villiers vs Steyn 2.0, when he scored 89 off 41 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad? READ: AB de Villiers: The Punisher

De Villiers is a darling to Indian crowds, but it is fitting that he will play his 100th Test in his adoptive home. It will be a memorable experience for Bangalore’s favourite South African son.  Complete Coverage: AB de Villiers’ 100th Test

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)