Captain AB de Villiers yearns to be like Brendon McCullum
From one great player to another, AB looks to learn from Brendon McCullum
What’s the story?
AB de Villers’ career is at a very interesting stage. At the peak of his powers currently, he is at par with the absolute best in limited-overs cricket. In Test cricket too, his numbers merit that he has a place amongst the best. Injury setbacks over the last 12-month period have however restricted his role in Test cricket, and after relinquishing captaincy in the format, he will also not be a part of the upcoming series’ against New Zealand, England and Bangladesh.
After his return to ODI cricket, he is doing a stellar job leading the Proteas to a 2-1 lead against a strong Kiwi side away from home.
While he has flourished with the bat in the series, he remarks that it is captaincy that he is enjoying more. He went on to add that he would like to model his captaincy around the great Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum.
"I'm enjoying it now more than ever. I feel I have a good understanding of the game, a good gut feel of what's coming and what's going to happen. A guy like McCullum does that really well, he sees what's going to happen in 10 overs' time. That's important for a captain." he said while speaking to NZ herald.
It’s not been an easy road for AB de Villiers as captain of the South African side. He is not letting the fact that he had to relinquish the lifelong dream of captaining the South African Test side from affecting his form in the ODIs.
If he manages to lead his side to a win in the series against the Kiwis, he will end the latter’s 8-series winning streak at home.
South African skipper AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum appear to be similar cricketers at first glance. However, as revealed by AB, there’s a difference in approach between the two.
While the Kiwi let instinct take over and wore his heart on the sleeve displaying an incredible attacking brand of captaincy, AB has been more pragmatic in his approach.
As a batsman, AB is flourishing immensely as he just reached another landmark, becoming the fastest batsmen to 9000 runs, overtaking Sourav Ganguly (in terms of innings).
It is a pity to see AB de Villiers not play much Test cricket anymore. He is an absolute game changer and his mere presence on the field gives the Proteas an edge. That being said, AB has shown that he is enjoying the role of being skipper in ODIs. His main focus will be to lead his side to a win in this year’s Champions Trophy and given the way the Proteas are playing, it seems like a very realistic possibility.
He should just look at Brendon McCullum’s approach during the 2015 World Cup as skipper for motivation.