It’s an ambition he has long held and now AB de Villiers is halfway there.
Yesterday he moved up to No1 in the world rankings for one-day cricket and he has set his next objective as becoming the top Test batsman.
De Villiers’s rise to the top took off last November when he scored 121 against England at Newlands in the third of four ODIs.
Two months later he scored three successive centuries, two against India (114 and 102 not out) and one against West Indies (102).
In his last 10 ODI innings, starting with the century in Cape Town, De Villiers has scored 667 runs at an average of 95.2.
He is also the only international batsman to have averaged more than 100 (104.8) in the current calendar year and this, along with the number of centuries he has scored, contributed to De Villiers replacing Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the No1 spot.
“I am thrilled and proud to get this accolade,” De Villiers said.
“My aim is always to do well for the team and to help the Proteas to win trophies, but it is nice to be acknowledged in this way.”
De Villiers, who is with the Proteas at a training camp in George, has set his next target as becoming the world’s No1 batsman in Test cricket.
“Two years ago I said I wanted to be the best batsman in the world and it is pleasing to see that I am starting to get results,” he said.
Four other South Africans join De Villiers on the world rankings, with Hashim Amla holding onto his fourth spot, though he is now level with Sri Lanka’s Tillekeratne Dilshan, and Jacques Kallis sitting at seventh. Graeme Smith is 13th and Herschelle Gibbs is 18th.
De Villiers is recovering from successful ankle surgery and his training will be limited at the Proteas camp.
The Proteas start their season in the first week of October when Zimbabwe tour South Africa for two Twenty20 games followed by three ODIs.
Source: Times Live – August 31, 2010 / MICHAEL BRATT