Former Indian opener-turned commentator Aakash Chopra has heaped high praise on champion South African batsman AB de Villiers for his brilliant performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the recent season of the Indian Premier League.
AB de Villiers batted at No.5 during IPL 2021 and he regularly peeled off match-winning performances one after the other defying the fact that he hadn’t played any competitive cricket leading into the competitions.
There were a lot of talks about RCB batting AB de Villiers as low as the No.5 spot but as champion cricketers always do, they adjust themselves to the conditions and match-situation, which is exactly what AB de Villiers did.
“AB de Villiers is a genius. It is because all of us were saying that he should be batted up the order because the more deliveries you give him, the more impact he will have. But RCB was sending him at No.5. If you are sending him at No.5, how will the team and he do well? But AB de Villiers said it does not matter to him whether you play him at No.5 or in Mars, he will be absolutely fine,” said Aakash Chopra.
Aakash Chopra was full of praise for De Villiers’ whirlwind knock of 76 off 34 deliveries. The innings was glittered with as many as nine fours and three sixes as RCB breached the 200-run mark and they eventually ended up winning the game by 38 runs.
“The knock he played against KKR was an absolute belter of an innings. He hit a flurry of fours and sixes while no one was able to score runs on that ground in the last four overs. But it was the class of AB de Villiers, who delivered once again,” pointed out Chopra.
Chopra further hailed AB de Villiers for another gem of a knock that he played against the Delhi Capitals where he came in to bat with his side reeling at 3/45 and peeled off another half-century which helped Royal Challengers Bangalore pull off a memorable one-run win.
“He played another knock against Delhi. There was a storm which had come but before that an AB de Villiers named storm had come and blew the opposition team away with his amazing performance,” said Chopra.
“He is that kind of a player. Wherever you play him, he brings the best out of himself. It was just the AB class that actually made the difference in crucial encounters against KKR and Delhi,” signed off Chopra.