3 batsmen who could replace AB de Villiers in Proteas ODI squad
AB de Villiers always knows how to leave his fans and the cricketing world simply stunned. His shocking announcement that he would retire from international cricket was perhaps one of the most breathtaking moments which the superstar has given us in his illustrious career.
It was highly anticipated that de Villiers would continue to play for South Africa until the 2019 World Cup in England. This was especially due to his frequent statements of wanting to win a major ICC tournament.
"I have decided to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect," de Villiers said on Wednesday (May 23). "After 114 Test matches, 228 ODIs and 78 T20 Internationals, it is time for others to take over. I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired," de Villiers explained.
His announcement does make it clear that he has reached a point where 14 years of cricket has taken its toll on him. A look at his statistics show just how much the maestro has accomplished in his years and why it makes sense that he feels now is the right time to call it a day.
De Villiers holds the record for the fastest 50, 100 & 150 in ODI history:
50 off 16 balls vs WI, Johannesburg, 2015
100 off 31 balls vs WI, Johannesburg, 2015
150 off 64 balls vs WI, SCG, 2015
De Villiers has scored the most runs for South Africa in World Cups - 1207 runs from 22 innings; Avg 63.52; SR 117.29; 4x100s
AB de Villiers is the only player who has batted at least 20 innings in ODIs to average 50+ and score at a 100+ strike rate.
With statistics such as those mentioned above, it is clear that South Africa will be searching desperately for a suitable replacement for de Villiers. The man is truly a legend and the Proteas will have their work cut out trying to find someone who can fill his shoes.
South Africa is a country which is rich in cricketing talent and there are few batsmen who might be able to use this as an opportunity to rise to the challenge and cement a name for themselves. When Sachin Tendulkar retired for India it was Virat Kohli who would answer the call for a master batsman for the Indian side.
This article will look at three South African batsmen who could do the same for their country.
#1. Aiden Markram
Aiden Markram made his debut for the Proteas during their home Test series against Bangladesh. Since then Markram has gone on to face stronger opposition such as India and Australia and has shown that he does indeed possess extraordinary talent.
The Test series against Australia was perhaps Markram's coming of age. He looked to be calm and in control at the crease and played with great amounts of maturity. He is currently in the South African Test squad but the ODI series against India was a clear indication that the South African coaching staff have set their sights on Markram being the next ODI captain.
Although Markram failed to really get going during the ODI series against India, he still showed that he is a talent which needs to be taken seriously. He has already earned himself the title of being the only South African captain to win an ICC World Cup when he led his young side to the under-19 trophy, and it looks like he is set to repeat this with the senior team.