AB de Villiers and his blue-sky thinking
Several people may be thinking as they gaze out their windows, "How can anyone put on a batting masterclass time and again, despite not playing competitive cricket for the last five months?" Any scientist or astrologer worth his or her salt would have no answers to this theory.
One man from Pretoria just makes batting look like a walk in the park. We even feel he could bat with his eyes shut. Such is his skill and precision. The USP of the veteran batsman lies in his blue-sky thinking and his ability to outsmart the bowlers with a profound understanding of the game. Virat Kohli, too, was baffled by how AB de Villiers makes batting look despite not having played much competitive cricket.
“AB doesn't like me saying this, but he hasn't played competitive cricket for 5 months, but if you look at him bat it doesn't feel like he doesn't play international cricket anymore. Hats off to him, keeps doing it again and again for us. Such an asset for us. I'll say this again. He hasn't played for five months, just watch that innings,” Kohli said during the post-match presentation.
At the end of the 9th over, Delhi Capitals had reduced Royal Challengers Bangalore to 60-3. With AB de Villiers in the ranks, they must have not felt they were in a relatively solid position, just yet. His mere presence in the middle is enough to instil fear into the bowler’s mind. Be it the bouncy tracks or deceitful surfaces, AB looks more certain than his contemporaries, who are still playing international cricket.
With Amit Mishra and Axar Patel bowling in tandem, He was watchful at the beginning. Rajat Patidar provided a blueprint of his batting prowess. He constantly kept the scoreboard ticking, which allowed the Protea batsman to get his eye in. In an attempt to up the ante, he holed out to Steve Smith, who was stationed at the long-on position. However, his 22-ball 31 had provided a cushion to de Villiers. When he got his eye in, he drove, pulled and, cut with precision. The 37-year-old added yet another feather to his already illustrious hat en route to his 75-run knock. He became the quickest player to breach the 5,000-run mark in terms of balls faced. He took just 3288 balls to scale the landmark. On a track where the batsmen found it hard to come to terms with the uncertainty of the pitch, AB de Villiers was striking at over 170, powering RCB to a competitive total of 171-5. His 42-ball stay at the crease was studded with 3 boundaries and five sixes. Chasing 172, Delhi Capitals fell short by just one run. The victory propelled RCB to the top of the table.