AB De Villiers, And The Art Of Punishing “Good” Deliveries

Scoring 129 runs in 52 balls once seemed unimaginable. However, AB De Villiers has made such performances a common sight. He constantly breaks records with his unique mixture of traditional and innovative batting techniques. His performances light up every IPL season, leading to "AB, AB" chants in stadiums across India, regardless of who's playing. Let's look at some innings that made AB De Villiers known as "Mr 360". 

Ab De Villiers IPL innings: A Masterful Game Against Gujarat Lions

In one such Ab De Villiers IPL game against the Gujarat Lions at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, he faced 52 balls, with 25% of them being dot balls. Nine of these were delivered by Ravindra Jadeja. Despite the frustration of these dot balls, Ab De Villiers still managed to make extraordinary shots when he needed the most.

By the end of Jadeja's 17th over, De Villiers had scored just 28 runs – a testament to Jadeja's tight bowling strategy. One particular ball was targeted at De Villiers' body, which usually results in a single run. However, Ab De Villiers, already having scored a century, played a surprising shot that ended with the ball hitting the stadium roof and earning him six runs.

A New Era of Cricket

Players like Ab De Villiers and Kohli stand out in this new era of fearless hitting and creativity. They consistently turn 'good' balls into scoring opportunities and even 'wicket-taking' ones into 'bad' balls. This level of skill and regularity is truly astonishing, making what should be rare events seem routine in the T20 era.

Behind the Stumps: Dinesh Karthik's Perspective

Throughout Ab De Villiers' innings, Dinesh Karthik, observing from behind the stumps, would applaud his bowlers even when balls were hit for boundaries. This hope that good bowling would eventually lead to wickets was dashed by Ab De Villiers' mastery of the format. Even 'mistakes' like edges and off-stump hits landed on the boundaries.

In the post-match press conference, Karthik acknowledged the skill of Ab De Villiers, stating how effortlessly he made it look on TV. This level of batting dominance often leaves opposition teams with a resigned smile. In the face of such performances, there's little else they can do.

Dwayne Bravo's Challenge of Facing De Villiers and Kohli

Dwayne Bravo is a pro in T20 cricket. He's one of the few bowlers who has done well in a time when batting is getting faster and better. Even though batting has changed a lot, Bravo has kept up.

In one match, Ab De Villiers and Kohli scored 30 runs in just one over against Bravo. This happened after Bravo only gave up 16 runs in his first two overs. They hit his perfect deliveries for fours and sixes. This left Bravo thinking that good balls don't deserve justice.

After this, Bravo made a mistake. He threw a bad ball that would have been easy for a leg slip to catch. This mistake cost him four runs. Then, to make things worse, he was called for a no-ball due to his height.

Bravo's next delivery was a free hit. He threw it in the 'perfect' spot between full and good length. But the South African player easily hit it over the covers for a six. This wasn't a practice game. This was a real match. It made people wonder why anyone would want to be a bowler.

Ab De Villiers: Batting Style

Ab de Villiers bats uniquely and efficiently. His stance resembles Sachin Tendulkar's, with the bat partially raised. He keeps his head steady, barely moving as the bowler runs in. Just before the ball is released, he uses a method inspired by Kallis. This involves a quick, double-step movement. This simple technique is what makes his batting stand out.

The Impact of IPL and the Power Duo

After seeing this, people took to Twitter to express their amazement. Among the shocked comments was a reminder from Carlos Brathwaite. He said fans should be thankful for tournaments like the IPL. These tournaments allow us to see amazing players like Kohli and Ab De Villiers play together.