IPL 2017: AB De Villiers feels surprised after being ‘Mr 360’ for Royal Challengers Bangalore – The South African wonder shines on return from injury
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman AB de Villiers runs between the wickets during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on April 10, 2017. (AFP – SAJJAD HUSSAIN)
Fit-again South African AB de Villiers was pleasantly surprised to discover he has lost none of his touch after the batsman blasted a swashbuckling 89 not out in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday.
The 33-year-old, who has taken a break from tests to manage his workload, missed the final of South Africa’s domestic 50-overs tournament with a back injury, which also kept him out of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL opener against Delhi.
There was no sign of any rust, however, as the player celebrated for his ‘360-degree’ batting prowess clobbered nine sixes and three fours in a 46-ball blitz against the Kings XI Punjab at Indore’s Holkar Cricket Stadium.
His brilliant innings helped a slow-starting Bangalore set a competitive 148 for four total but the hosts proved too strong in their reply, easing to an eight-wicket victory with 33 balls to spare.
“I did surprise myself and played a few good shots,” De Villiers, who was wearing a microphone, told the commentary team while he was fielding, admitting he had periods of uncertainty during the layoff.
“It’s not like you become a bad player overnight, the rustiness is more self-doubt,” he added.
A couple of his sixes sailed out of the stadium and such was his timing that even when he charged a Mohit Sharma delivery which turned out wider than he had assumed, De Villiers made a late adjustment to send it over the long-off boundary.
“Mr 360 is back! Genius @ABdeVilliers17,” tweeted India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, no mean six-hitter himself.
Mr 360 is back ! Genius @ABdeVilliers17
— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) April 10, 2017
Boooooom seriously amazing striking @ABdeVilliers17 best in the business 👏👏
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) April 10, 2017
ABD ABD ABD…!!! If I was a commentator I'd do a mic drop and enjoy the show … No words can describe @ABdeVilliers17….wow!!🏅
— Morne Morkel (@mornemorkel65) April 10, 2017