Thankful to RCB for batting me at No.3: AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers speaks after producing a stunning batting display against Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
After his jaw-dropping knock of 133* from just 59 balls against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday, AB de Villiers expressed satisfaction with having got the opportunity to bat in the top 3 in recent matches for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), adding that he has wanted to do so in Twenty20 (T20) cricket ever since its introduction. Coming in to bat at 20/1 in the wake of Chris Gayle’s wicket, de Villiers plundered the Mumbai bowlers all around the park as he put together a record 215-run partnership with skipper Virat Kohli for the second wicket. In the process, they helped RCB rack up a colossal score of 235 for 1 from their 20 overs and secure a 39-run victory for the visitors.
Over the years, de Villiers has been made to bat lower down the order not just for RCB but also for South Africa due to his supreme finishing prowess. However, a lack of favourable results at the start of this season has made RCB revamp their strategy and promote the South African ODI captain to no.3 in the batting order, a move that has paid rich dividends till now.
“I have always wanted to play at the top of the order,” he said. “From the day I started playing T20 cricket I always wanted to bat at the top three and I am very thankful for the fact that Royal Challengers Bangalore has given me the chance to bat at three now.”
Have played better innings previously: de Villiers
De Villiers’ innings, which was his highest ever score in T20 cricket and the 3rd highest in the IPL, was almost flawless and left the Mumbai bowlers desperately searching for answers they couldn’t find. Surprisingly, though, and perhaps scarily for the bowlers, the 31-year-old went on to say that he felt he didn’t play as well as he could have and that he had played much better innings before.
“I certainly have played better innings and this is the same as any other innings,” he added. “I won’t say this is the best I have played, I have played much better before but things went my way today. I tried to stick to my game plan as much as possible. I tried to keep it simple and that is what I did right throughout my innings.”