It's like taking Kohli out of the Indian team, says Graeme Smith on AB de Villiers retirement
Smith also spoke about the influence of AB de Villiers' retirement on South Africa cricket.
What’s the story?
"I think AB's thought about it a lot," Smith said during an interview.
The former captain also said that he thought that de Villiers would himself retire at the end of the 2019 World Cup and that after doing well in South Africa's latest assignments and also looking in great touch in the IPL, this decision was certainly shocking.
Smith also echoed the normal sentiment when he said that people will miss him because he was just a brilliant player and hence everyone wanted to see him keep playing.
However, the former captain said that since the decision has now been made, people should respect it since the player has earned the right to go out on his terms after playing International cricket for 15 years.
Smith was also of the view that this loss will be great for South Africa and he equated it to Virat Kohli calling it a day for India.
"Everyone will say it's a big loss. More than anything the South African team loses an X-factor player, who can single-handedly win you a game," the former captain quipped.
In case you didn’t know…
AB de Villiers announced retirement from all forms of the game with immediate effect last week.
His Test record reads an average of 50.66 and has accumulated 8,765 Test runs.
In 228 ODI matches, de Villiers peeled off 9,577 runs at an average of 53.50 and with a strike rate of 101.09.
It will be interesting to see how South Africa cope up with this loss and as Graeme Smith has correctly pointed out, it will be a huge vacuum and the selectors and the team management will have to make sure that his replacement is not expected to yield dividends right from the first game.
Will AB de Villiers' retirement hamper South Africa's World Cup chances? Let us know in the comments below.