5 times AB de Villiers the tormentor turned protector
A slideshow showing instances of De Villiers playing back to the wall innings to try and salvage test matches for South Africa.
South African ace AB de Villiers has constructed a remarkable career filled with a relentless pursuit of greatness and a unique combination of longevity and consistency. In whites, He turned up for his country a record 98 matches in a row(the record has since been eclipsed by Brendon McCullum), before finally missing a test. Throughout his career, he was often the tormentor of attacks and the fear he instilled even in great bowlers like Mitchell Johnson and his own South African teammate Dale Steyn, has been well documented.
So it is hard to believe that there have been multiple occasions where the belligerent batsman has shelved his natural strokeplay for the team's cause and put on an admirable display of grit and patience. Here are 5 such instances when De Villiers the tormentor turned into De Villiers the protector!
#1 33 off 220 balls vs Australia, Adelaide 2012
The match is better remembered for Faf Du Plessis's remarkable test debut where his gritty century in the second innings helped South Africa draw the match from a precarious position.
But what people tend to forget is that AB de Villiers was actually part of the initial resistance where he, along with Du Plessis, shared a partnership of 89 runs in 68 overs. De Villiers batted for 220 balls and didn't even hit a boundary! He scored 33 runs at a strike rate of 15, a figure that fans around the world wouldn't associate with the star batsman.
His effort along, with Du Plessis's epic 4th innings 100 and an injured Kallis's gritty resistance, helped saved the match for South Africa who were once staring down the barrel at 45/4 and still had to bat 120 overs to salvage the match.