What’s the story?
The growing might of Indian Cricket Team has scared South African batting stalwart AB de Villiers, who feels team India is only getting stronger and stronger because of the Indian Premier League.
“I am scared of Indian cricket; it’s just getting stronger and stronger because of the IPL. The IPL has introduced so many Indian youngsters to this great experience of playing under pressure against the best in the world. No other country has that. They [the other countries] are slowly but surely catching up, but India is far ahead of that. I think they have got some great talent, there are some great youngsters coming through always… the future is in great hands,” said the RCB batsman who endured a dismal IPL season this year.
In case you didn’t know...
IPL 10 has introduced many new young talents to Indian Cricket, the likes of which include Pune’s Rahul Tripathi, Gujarat’s Basil Thampi, Mumbai’s Nitish Rana, Hyderabad’s Siddharth Kaul among a few others. This is why Ab de Villiers feels that the future of Indian Cricket is secured.
The heart of the matter
The cricketer, with 45 international centuries and over 18,000 runs in international cricket, also spoke about the opportunities that IPL gave him, explaining the benefits of meeting and playing alongside world-class cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. The scorer of the quickest ODI century in cricket, off 31 balls, feels that the IPL has created awareness about T20 cricket and introduced a lot of fans to the game, which is great for Indian cricket.
Now that Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL 10 campaign has come to an end, De Villiers will be looking to give in his all in the upcoming Champions Trophy which begins on June 1 in England and Wales. Given that South Africa haven’t lifted an ICC trophy in two decades, the 33-year-old will be desperate to clinch one before putting curtains on his glorious career.
It is unfair to dismiss the Indian Premier League as only a league of entertainment. It does much more than that; unearths unrecognised talent each year to fast-track their campaign into the national team. This is probably why India boasts of the strongest bench strength in world cricket. With such a large pool of talent in the country, which is nurtured by the annual T20 extravaganza, Indian cricket has become a force to reckon with as rightly recognised by De Villiers.Published 15 May 2017, 17:23 IST