Cricket

There is something about AB

AB is an extraordinary talent, but he is also an extremely modest and humble human being

The Test washout in Bengaluru was a disappointment to not just the teams, but also the cricket-loving people of the city who had patronised the game in vast numbers on day one when the game was possible.

South Africa will be the first to acknowledge that its batting in three completed innings has been quite disappointing. Its highest total in those three outings has been 214, which is really not reflective either of the quality in its ranks, or on the nature of the surfaces. It appears as if South Africa is the victim not so much of turn as the fear and the perception of turn.

Sign of a true champion

One man who has been a distinguished and honourable exception is the man the Indian fans love. There is something inherently endearing about A.B. de Villiers. He is an extraordinary talent, a batsman that can destroy the best attacks in the world with a fearlessness that is all too rare, but he is also an extremely modest and humble human being. Now, that is the sign of a true champion.

While other batsmen have fallen victims to their own insecurities and the quality of India’s spinners, AB has been a class apart. What makes his performances remarkable is the duration over which he has managed to remain consistent with his positive and attacking approach.

Batsmen, in particular, often have streaks; they look unstoppable for 6-8 months before feeling worn out, but that somehow seems not to be the case with AB. He has been excellent in all conditions across all formats against all kinds of opposition, and he is clearly head and shoulders above the rest as the best batsman in the world.

AB’s strength lies in his assessment of situations. While he is always on the lookout for runs, he doesn’t follow a set pattern.

One of the things less spoken about is his technique. You can’t be as successful as he is without having a very good technique. His 85 in Bengaluru was special; I can honestly say that I haven’t seen a better innings at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, save Sunil Gavaskar’s 96 against Pakistan in his final Test innings.

He defended when the ball demanded respect, he left deliveries alone that didn’t need to be poked at, but every time he got a loose delivery, he despatched it to the fence. That comes with innate cricketing intelligence and a remarkably clear mind that in some ways is reminiscent of Virender Sehwag, even if there is little similarity between their batting styles!

The world has been AB’s canvas for a while and he has been painting pretty pictures all around the globe.

With two more Tests remaining, Indian players might be a little tired of seeing AB in action, but the fans just don’t seem to get enough of him. There can’t be a greater tribute to an overseas player. — Hawkeye | Chivach Sports

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 3:05:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/there-is-something-about-ab/article7900852.ece

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