I was commentating on the game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Monday when I realised once again what a gifted player AB de Villiers is.
He is the sort of batsman that comes along once every 20 years, and in South Africa we are fortunate to have his abundant talents.
The match was meandering along for the Royal Challengers. All the batsmen were struggling to lift the scoring rate. Even the normally dynamic Tillakaratne Dilshan had problems accelerating on the particular surface on which the match was played. Until De Villiers came to the crease it appeared that the Royal Challengers would be lucky to get to 150.
It was remarkable how De Villiers from the outset took control. He changed the pace of the innings from the word go and dominated the bowlers. He scored on both sides of the wicket and invented some extraordinary strokes. In the end the Rajasthan Royals had no idea where to bowl to him. He took the game away from them over a five-over period.
De Villiers is one of those players who oozes raw talent. There are very few players, if any, in the world who make scoring runs look as easy as AB de Villiers does when he is playing well. The only other player in this category at the moment is maybe Virender Sehwag.
It helps as well that De Villiers is a phenomenal athlete. His energy and enthusiam is infectious and he has a positive effect on any team he plays for. He is maturing all the time and his gesture after the match to share his Man of the Match award with one of the young local players who had a good night with the ball, was a nice touch. This will further endear him to his teammates and fans alike.
It is incredible to think that with all the problems South African cricket has experienced over many years, we continue to produce players of the highest quality. Our domestic system hasn’t always functioned as well as it should due to various circumstances and yet we continue to bring through players of true international quality.
This says a lot for the individual spirit and commitment of some of the players in our system. Despite adversity the players rise to the occasion and do South Africa proud. Long may this dedication and never-say-die approach continue. There are a new crop of young players about to take control of the Proteas under the leadership of AB de Villiers. This is an exciting time for the national team.
If this period doesn’t end up in World Cup success it will be a major surprise. Let’s enjoy the ride. It is going to be spectacular.
Source: SuperSport – April 25, 2012 / KEPLER WESSELS