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Well on his way to becoming the best!!

March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

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.

Rnk

Test Player

ODI Player

1

Hash

Hash

2

Chanderpaul

AB (sharing nr.1 currently)

3

AB

Kohli

4

Sangakara

Dhoni

5

Clarke

Trott

6

Cook

Sangakara

7

Pujara

Dilshan

8

Kallis

Cook

9

Younis Khan

Watson

10

Prior

McCullum

 

I decided to comprise my top 6 for a world Test or ODI team based on the rankings above & current form & this is what I came up with:

Test Lineup

ODI Lineup

1

Cook

Hash

2

Pujara

Dilshan

3

Hash

Sangakara

4

Sangakara

Kohli

5

Clarke

AB

6

AB

Dhoni

 

Not bad ey?? I don’t like that I put AB at 6 in the test lineup but I just feel that he can score his runs quicker than Clarke & also accelerate better than him if need be.

You know, I found it absurd that AB averages over 90 in 20odd ODI’s since doing the captain/batsman/keeper job and yet there are still some people that don’t think he’s doing as good a job as someone else can as captain or keeper. He might be a senior player but he’s still a young captain. And with back to back Man of the Series awards against Pakistan it’s obvious that AB of old is now completely Back even if for some reason he believes that he’s not timing it well enough yet?? GEEZ, well AB Lets hope that come the ICC Championship, you got that sorted out.

I’m outy

10 responses to Well on his way to becoming the best!!

  1. We all know the talent AB has, he is one of the best around. BUT, I still think he carries a very high work load. In a way I think they realized that, and thats why they gave the T20 captaincy to faf. Being wickey, captain and one of the top order batsmen is a lot to ask of one player. At the moment AB is doing it brilliantly, but what happens in a few months or a year time when he hits another slump in form? Are they gonna keep the high workload on him?
    I’m also wondering who will be our next test captain once Smith steps down? Will AB take over in tests too? I think he should, but then we need someone else to take over the gloves in my opinion. If the manage young De Kock well he might be the next Marck Boucher, and a much better batsmen than mark was.
    What are your thought on Kallis not playing ODI’s anymore? I was thinking about this the other day. You know, I would rather look at it from this viewpoint. Use him as much as possible while he’s still “young”. Now he only plays test cricket, and those are few and far between. before you blink he’s over 40 and the body just cant do it anymore. Then you’ve wasted a few good years keeping him “fresh” for tests only. I think he should play while he still can! Rest when you retire bud!

    • leeubok, i think AB’s time of being captain/wickey/batsmen all depends on how quickly the Proteas PERMANENTLY brings de Kock into the squad & play him regularly.. In fact i think that after the ICC Championship, he could be installed as the regular keeper in the shorter formats of the game.

      In the test arena, biff can still captain the team for next 2 – 5 years if his own form doesnt drop dramatically but AB is & should be his successor should he decide to step down. and when that time arrives, hopefully de kock wouldve convinced selectors that he can play the role of keeper/nr.7.

      regarding kallis: if he can play in the ipl, then surely he can still play ODI’s. i’m a bit skeptical of using him for the upcoming icc championship because of his lack of match fitness however should he play in the ipl next month AND perform, it would be silly not to use him. in fact my ideal top 6 for that even would be: biff, hash,JK,ab, jp & faf..

      lemme know what you think..

      • Ja that sounds look a good batting order. And I agree with you, if Kallis can play IPL and earn big bucks then he can play champions trophy. I read somewhere that Kirsten has already spoken to kallis about playing. But I just think, in general, its silly to not use Kallis in ODI’s. All good and well to try and prolong his test career, but flip the guy is getting old now and he only has so many years left. Use him to the max while you can.
        De Kock can be a long term wicket keeper for SA if we dont stuff him up while he’s still so young. I think thats what happened to Parnell..
        Anyways, I have faith in Kirsten as a coach, I think he knows what he’s doing. lets hope we can sort our ODI team out and get it on par with our Test team

        • look i dont think kallis should play in all the ODI’s but if we are going to use him in big tournaments like this ICC thingy, then 1 or 2 games prior to the championship wouldnt hurt..

          and i dont think de kock will be stuffed up because he is a rarity: a very young & talented batsman/keeper.. we should just stick with him through thick n thin.. remember AB himself was a talented 20yr old & look how he’s turning out..

          • Seems like some youngsters make it and some dont… Smith as well, he could’ve folded when given the captaincy at that young age, but he didnt. Whereas Parnell looked like an awesome bowler when he first came on the scene, and now he’s pretty awfull..

          • Yeah you’re right.. Well luckily parnell is still young, who knows maybe he’ll work his way back into the team

  2. For me – HE IS ALREADY the best, and by quite a margin. Only 2 players that gets close (still behind though) is Clarke and Hash

  3. Well done AB, but guys lets be honest. Hash is the number 1 in the world in both formats. He IS our best batsman. AB is our best grinder but Hash plays the game the way its required. Steps up when needed, slows the pace accordingly. And without him, AB would be still number 10 in the world. Its just my choice,,, the mighty # for me.

    • djp said on April 2, 2013

      I have to disagree Johan.. Yes, according to ICC rankings Amla is SA’s (& the world’s) best batsman but one can also say that statistically Kallis is SA’s best batsman. I think that both Hash & AB reads the game very well & can assess the situation according to what is required for the team to win or be in a position to win. A perfect example is the 2nd test in Oz where everyone gave Faf the praise for his unbeaten 100 (well deserved) but AB also played an exceptional knock by trying to play out innings. He had no intentions of making runs which i think mustve been very hard for him as he’s such an attacking batsman.

      A different example can be that brilliant partnership AB & Hash put up against Pakistan where AB came out and intentionally going after the bowlers allowing Hash to play his natural game albeit in ODI’s he’s just as attacking. Look these 2 are so brilliant that i think it comes down to personal choice. But for me, AB wins that battle..

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