Always special to get AB de Villiers out; he is the best player in the world: Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir and AB de Villiers. Pic: Getty Images
Imran Tahir and AB de Villiers. Pic: Getty Images

Veteran South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir has named AB de Villiers as his most prized wicket. The 41-year-old also termed De Villiers as the best player in the world.

Imran Tahir represents the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021), which resumes in Abu Dhabi on June 9. The T20 league was suspended in March after COVID-19 cases entered the tournament’s bio-bubble. The leggie turned out for Chennai Super Kings in this year’s IPL, which also had to be postponed after the event’s bio-bubble was breached.

In an interaction on the YouTube show Cricast, Imran Tahir was asked to name his most prized wicket. The leg-spinner picked his former South African teammate De Villiers. Explaining his choice, Imran Tahir said:

“This is a very difficult questions because I have played against some very good players. But, it is always special to get AB de Villiers out. According to me, he is the best player in the world and I have dismissed him during difficult situations in the IPL. So, it is always nice to get him out, because it is very tough to dismiss him. There are many other big names, but getting AB out is a big thing.”

Asked to name the most difficult batsman he has bowled to, the South African spinner responded that it is difficult to pick one batter. He elaborated:

“There are a lot of players whom I have watched very closely and also bowled to them. There is Virat Kohli, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith. I have mostly played white-ball cricket and not so many Test matches, but I can say that if you don’t get it right against these batsmen, things would become very difficult for you as a bowler.”

Once in England, I ended up outside the ground as I was celebrating: Imran Tahir

One of the reasons why Imran Tahir is a much-admired cricketer is because of the energy he brings into his game even at this age. His running celebration, wherein he takes off after claiming a wicket, has become his trademark.

Reflecting on how the celebration has become an indispensable part of his cricketing persona, Imran Tahir stated that he never planned the celebration and that it just happened. He said:

“I never planned that running celebration. It is just one of those things. I have been asked this question many times, but I really don’t know.”

Narrating a hilarious anecdote pertaining to his running celebration, Imran Tahir revealed:

"There are a couple of unbelievable stories from England. Once, I ended up going out of the ground as I was celebrating. Then I realized that I am on the road, so I had to come back. It was really funny. I was so happy, I took a great catch or something and we won the game and I was just so happy that I didn’t realize… I am sure everyone was laughing at me. I guess it’s just passion and respect for the game, and the opportunity I get every time.”

Imran Tahir is a veteran of 308 T20 games, in which he has claimed 386 wickets at a strike rate of 17.10.

Edited by Sai Krishna
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