Dewald Brevis is here to live the IPL dream

South Africa's Baby AB - Dewald Brevis made quite the impression on his IPL debut.
South Africa's Baby AB - Dewald Brevis made quite the impression on his IPL debut.
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Pratyush Rohra

The rise of Dewald Brevis is the latest diegesis to have taken the cricketing fraternity by storm. His prominent rise since the start of the year has been well-documented, with comparisons emerging to a certain legendary Protea, AB de Villiers.

Nicknamed after the great man himself, "Baby AB" isn't letting the pressure of being the next big thing be a burden to him. As a matter of fact, Brevis is eager to learn from his mentor and carve out a name for himself. He doesn't want to be known as the next AB de Villiers. He wants to be known as Dewald Brevis.

He said in this regard:

β€œIt is an honor to be compared to him, but it is important for me to have my own identity. I want to be known as Dewald Brevis.”

At the age of playing video games, the lad from Johannesburg was putting up video game-like numbers on the big stage. The 18-year-old burst onto the scene at the U-19 World Cup 2022, breaking the record for most runs scored in a single edition of the U-19 World Cup (506). Scoring three half-centuries and two centuries in the tournament, the youngster averaged 84.33 and had a strike rate of 90.19.

RECORD BREAKER πŸ’― Dewald Brevis has scored more #U19CWC runs in a single edition than any other batter in the history of the game#BePartOfIt

Since then, Brevis has developed a bit of a cult following despite being just 18. It's not difficult to understand where the comparisons to de Villiers come from. All one needs to do is watch him bat. It's the half-crouched stance and flourish with which he bats, looking equally at ease against pace and spin.

Being picked by MI gives me a lot of confidence: Dewald Brevis

Soon after returning from the immense success he enjoyed at the U-19 World Cup, Brevis played for the Titans in the CSA T20 Challenge. The youngster gave glimpses of his potential as he looked to make the step up to a higher level.

While Brevis scored a nervy 23 off 25 balls in his first match of the tournament, his dream-come-true moment arrived from a million miles away. Oblivious to the fact, the teenager was picked up for β‚Ή3 crore by the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the mega auction in February.

Brevis said in an interview with the five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions:

β€œI did not expect it at all. I was playing for the Titans in the CSA T20 challenge during the auction and my name literally came up in the middle of the game. I remember Quinton de Kock asking me to come up to the TV to watch what was happening. Being picked by MI gives me a lot of confidence.”

It did boost his confidence. He responded strongly in his second CSA T20 Challenge game, scoring a measured unbeaten 46 off 30 deliveries, helping the Titans seal a comfortable seven-run victory over the Dolphins in a tricky run chase.

He blew hot-and-cold throughout the tournament, scoring 140 runs in six matches. Perhaps his mind was already on much bigger things, to say the least.

"Baby AB" made an impression on his IPL debut

Playing in the IPL is the ultimate dream for most cricketers, let alone for young players. From a base price of β‚Ή20 lakh to being sold for β‚Ή3 crore in the grandest league of them all, one would think that the 18-year-old would be feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders when he made his IPL debut.

Kevin Pietersen once said in an interview:

"You must play the ball, even if it's a phenomenal bowler; just play the ball and don't look at the bowler. Play your own game."

Inspired by the South African-born former England batter, Brevis has imbibed a similar mindset in his game.

The South African prodigy made his debut against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on April 6, as he made his way into the side for Tim David. Walking in with his side in trouble at 6-1 in the third over, he, alongside Ishan Kishan, injected some much-needed impetus into the Mumbai innings.

In his brief but enterprising knock of 29 off 19 deliveries, Brevis displayed an array of strokes, including a few that would take one's breath away. He started off by walloping two cross-batted hits down the ground against Rasikh Salam and Umesh Yadav, before fetching Australian Test skipper Pat Cummins for a streaky maximum.

The shot of the day, though, came in the eighth over against Varun Chakaravarthy. The young Protea took on the mystery spinner on ball one, tonking him out of the park with a no-look six over mid-wicket.

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Wow what a hit for six! Baby AB Dewald Brevis no look shot, I have no word. Reminds me of ABD again today. Treat to watch this exciting talent. #KKRvMI #KKRvsMI #Abdevilliers #IPL2022 #IPL

Social media quickly went gaga over the prospect of "Baby AB" lighting up IPL 2022. However, the question remains. Is the 18-year-old the answer to the Mumbai Indians' middle-order worries this season?

The general consensus would suggest it's probably too early to tell. That being said, the five-time IPL champions have been more than happy to give the young guns in their side a run for their money.

Be it with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, or the latest generation of Ishan Kishan and Tilak Verma, the Mumbai Indians tend to back and nuture their youngsters.

It won't come as a surprise if they do the same with Dewald Brevis, for whom sky is the limit. While the talent he possesses is there for all to see, the youngster will need to go from stride to stride to reach anywhere the standards his idol has set.

If "Baby AB" can emulate even half of what the legend himself has achieved in the sport, he'll have quite a career alright.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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