Well on his way to becoming the best!!

When AB de Villiers told the cricket world a couple of years ago that he wants to become the best batsman in the world, it wasn’t so far fetch to believe… He was maturing into world class batsman, hit a rich vein of form & was considered one of the regular senior players in the Protea squad along with Biff, JK, Bouch & Steyn while still being in his mid-20’s.

Then post the 2011 CWC, AB’s load almost overnight became what many critics believed was too much. He was handed the ODI captaincy & a couple of months later also became the permanent keeper for SA in the shorter versions of the game. To add to that, the Proteas’ lost long time warrior & keeper Mark Boucher in the test arena with AB stepping in with very short notice & one could even say, short preparation.  And let’s not forget, with all of this happening, he was still an important piece of that South African batting line up.

It also didn’t help that the exciting batsman had a bit of dip in form with all these changes happening while also suffering from back injuries from time to time; the latter being even more concerning as being a wickey in the test format can be quite strenuous on the body. A couple of my friends (you know who you are) kept on telling me that AB should give up the gloves & that Thami should be given a shot. One friend even went so absurdly far as to say that AB should be dropped all together. But me being loyal to my sports players & teams, I stuck through the not-so-good times because I believe (maybe even blindly) that this guy can easily be South Africa’s greatest modern cricket talent along with Kallis & Gibbs. I can even argue that he’s got the best of both. 

But even the most die hard AB fans wouldn’t say they weren’t a little worried when he struggled to convert those 30’s, 40’s & 50’s into big scores. But even during those times he showed me enough to keep on believing. I remember an innings during the NZ series in NZ where to the top 6 were dismissed cheaply because the NZ bowlers were bowling in the right areas & they also got a lot assistance from a lively pitch. AB scored a 70 or 80 odd & never looked like he was gonna get out until ofcoz, he got out. I recall the NZ commentators were flabbergasted yet surprised (coz of AB’s form then) how easily he dispatched the NZ bowlers.

When looking at the table below of the current 10 batsmen in Test & ODI cricket, it’s obvious that AB is staying true to his word of striving to become the world’s best batsman currently occupied by team mate & run freak Hashim Amla. Which made me ponder where AB would’ve been if he was selfish & just concentrated on his batting. I dont want to take anything away from Hashim but is primary role is just to score runs & being the man he is, I don’t think he cares too much about being nr.1 or even believe that he’s the nr.1 batsman in the world, even though stats don’t lie. Having said that, I think it’s quite remarkable what de Villiers is doing with the bat considering the extra roles he received in such short spaces of time.


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