Former India cricketer VVS Laxman has termed AB de Villiers “phenomenal” and believes that despite his international retirement, the South African star continues to steal everyone’s breath away with his “innovation and “creativity”.
Having retired from international cricket in 2018, AB de Villiers remains a vital part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) setup, having played critical roles in two out of their three wins in the IPL 2021.
“AB, of course, is just phenomenal. You think you have seen it all, and yet, year after year, he takes your breath away with his innovativeness and creativity. He doesn’t play international cricket any longer, so it’s little short of amazing that he continues to retain his passion, zest, fitness and appetite.”
AB de Villiers hasn’t ruled out an international comeback for South Africa and is in discussions with national coach Mark Boucher.
In IPL 2021, he has scored 125 runs from three matches in IPL 2021 at an incredible strike rate of 189.4. Since his last international game, AB de Villiers has played 43 IPL matches for the RCB, scoring 1,501 runs at 48.42, striking at 164.2. The stats are a reflection of the value he adds to his side in the shortest format.
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Impossible to emulate AB de Villiers’ stroke-play, but much to learn from his work ethic: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman further states that while it’s impossible to emulate AB de Villiers’ stroke-play, youngsters can learn from his work ethic and commitment.
Even at 37, AB de Villiers remains one of the fittest players in the league, who is committed to his role and performs irrespective of the stage he comes in. To add balance to the side, he also keeps wicket.
“I wouldn’t recommend that young batsmen attempt to emulate his [AB de Villiers’s] stroke-play because that’s impossible, but there is so much to learn from his work ethic and his commitment. In that regard, AB and Shikhar have established themselves as the leading lights of the competition so far,” VVS Laxman concluded.
Along with AB de Villiers, VVS Laxman named Shikhar Dhawan as another cricketer who has set an example by reinventing himself and making a massive impact in the ongoing cash-rich league.