Rarely do we see a player like AB de Villiers who dominates the bowlers across all formats. He is one of the few players who have a 50-plus average in both Tests and ODIs. Several present and former cricketers consider him as the finest batsman of this generation. The South African superstar just released his autobiography ‘AB’ which has got huge response in India, a country where he is probably loved more than his own nation. He has made some interesting revelations in the book and one of them was the toughest bowlers he had faced during his career. Mr 360 degree , as he is fondly called due to his ability of hitting the balls all around the ground, said that Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif, Australia’s Mitchell Johnson and England’s Monty Pansar troubled him the most.
De Villiers recently had an email interview with The Times of India, where he spoke on various topics.
On what prompted him to write his autobiography during playing days:
After the 2015 World Cup, I felt there was a story worth telling, and that it would be possible to write a story that interests and hopefully inspires people.
I enjoyed tennis and rugby but, from the age of 15, cricket was always going to be No.1 for me. It is a game of incredible variety. I have always loved it.
On the turning point in his career:
The second Test against India in Ahmedabad in 2008 was a turning point. It wasn’t just the score of 217 not out; it was the fact that, strange as it seems, for almost the first time, I felt able to defend properly and play a long innings for the team.
On Virender Sehwag’s 319 in Chennai in 2008 which de Villiers described as “perhaps the best Test innings I have ever seen”:
It was just magnificent. Paul Harris, our left-arm spinner, was bowling outside leg stump, into the rough, to try and slow the game down. But Viru kept stepping away to leg and hitting him inside out through the covers for four.
You don’t do that in Test cricket, but Viru did.
On IPL and his reaction on hearing that he had been signed by Delhi for $300,000 in first edition:
I could not believe it. The BCCI, and the IPL, have taken cricket to a new level. Many players all around the world will always be grateful. Now as someone who plays alongside Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle for Royal Challengers Bangalore, tell us a little more about them.
Virat and Chris are great players who have become great friends, and it’s been a great experience to play alongside them. Many people may be surprised that we get along so well, and there is absolutely no rivalry between us. We all pull for the team.
On when asked to explain the following excerpt from his book
“India very rarely lose a Test series at home, possibly, because they have such exceptionally constructive working relationships with the groundsmen at their home venues.”:
There’s nothing wrong! Indian pitches tend to be dusty and suit the spinners. Every home team produces pitches to suit them. It’s common sense.
On whether he watched any Bollywood movie during his stay through all the editions of IPL, and was there any movie he especially enjoyed:
I enjoy every movie with Shah Rukh Khan, and would love to feature in one some time.