AB de Villiers stood tall in the Indian Premier League and once again made a statement of his batting brilliance. Yet, still there are fools in South Africa who believe he shouldn’t play cricket for the T20 Proteas.
Admittedly, the bulk of those who voted on SA Cricket Magazine shared my view that it isn’t even a question. If AD de Villiers is available to play for Proteas in the T20 World Cup, then pick him. It was the 14 percent who ticked the ‘Definitely No’ box.
How ever? But seriously, how at a time when the Proteas are the whipping boys in all formats of international cricket? I’d pick De Villiers, with one leg and one arm, to bat ahead of anyone used in positions three to six for the Proteas.
If I had to wheel him out, I’d still pick him. I wrote it on the eve of the IPL and I will continue to write it while AB walks to the crease.
He did things with the bat over the weekend for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) that those who failed for the Proteas against Pakistan have never done in their careers and never will do.
If you want an opinion on De Villiers, you only have to watch Virat Kohli’s facial expressions every time the cameras zoom in on him while De Villiers is batting.
De Villiers, having started his 14th successive IPL season with a blistering 48, was even better in RCB’s third match. He scored an unbeaten 76 off just 34 deliveries and did as he pleased in directing the ball to every corner of the field.
De Villiers is a superstar and has always been one of the best of his generation in all formats of the game. He played 98 successive Tests for the Proteas, scored 149 off 31 balls against the West Indies at the Wanderers in a ODI and also the fastest 150 in ODIs in the history of the game.
In T20s, playing in an IPL team that endorses and supports him unconditionally, he has flourished.
His Proteas T20 stats are second to what he produces in the IPL, but they are still among the best ever produced by a Proteas batsman.
Pick him. Pick him. Pick him.
And for those fools who say ‘definitely no’, all 14 percent of them, here’s a few things to digest.
De Villiers, in 171 IPL matches, has been the top scorer on 40 occasions. He has hit 236 x 6s and 394 x 4s, averages 40.15 and has a strike/scoring rate of 151!
He is in form. He is one of the greatest, if not the greatest T20 batsman.
And he is South African.