Aakash Chopra has lauded AB de Villiers’ match-winning performances for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2021 despite being made to bat lower down in the order.
AB de Villiers predominantly batted at No.5 for RCB, with Glenn Maxwell sent ahead of him. The strategy worked wonders as the duo emerged as the highest run-getters for RCB in IPL 2021.
Aakash Chopra Terms AB de Villiers Genius As It Doesn’t Matter To Him Whether He Plays At No. 5 Or In Mars
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, former cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra termed AB de Villiers a ‘genius’ for dishing out exemplary performances in his new role at No.5 in the batting order.
“AB de Villiers is a genius. It is because all of us were saying that he should be batted up the order because the more deliveries you give him, the more impact he will have. But RCB was sending him at No.5.
“If you are sending him at No.5, how will the team and he do well? But AB de Villiers said it does not matter to him whether you play him at No.5 or in Mars, he will be absolutely fine,” said Aakash Chopra.
The former India player was particularly appreciative of AB de Villiers’ exhilarating knock against the Kolkata Knight Riders on the slow Chepauk surface.
“The knock he played against KKR was an absolute belter of an innings. He hit a flurry of fours and sixes while no one was able to score runs on that ground in the last four overs. But it was the class of AB de Villiers, who delivered once again,” pointed out Aakash Chopra.
AB de Villiers smashed an unbeaten 76 off just 34 deliveries in that encounter. The knock, which was studded with nine fours and three sixes, helped RCB breach the 200-run mark and they eventually won the match by 38 runs.
Aakash Chopra: AB De Villiers Class Made The Difference In Crucial Encounters Against KKR And Delhi Capitals
Aakash Chopra also spoke in glowing terms about AB de Villiers’ belligerent unbeaten 75 against the Delhi Capitals which helped RCB register a one-run win.
“He played another knock against Delhi. There was a storm which had come but before that an AB de Villiers named storm had come and blew the opposition team away with his amazing performance,” said Chopra.
The former KKR player concluded by hailing AB de Villiers as the game-changer for RCB in crucial matches.
“He is that kind of a player. Wherever you play him, he brings the best out of himself. It was just the AB class that actually made the difference in crucial encounters against KKR and Delhi,” signed off Chopra.
AB de Villiers scored 207 runs at an excellent average of 51.75 and a stupendous strike rate of 164.28 in IPL 2021 before it got suspended midway. Apart from his knocks against KKR and DC, the Proteas great also made a telling contribution in RCB’s win against the Mumbai Indians in the opening match of IPL 2021.
AB de Villiers, who became the sixth batsman to score 5000 IPL runs and the only one at a strike rate of more than 150, hit an unbeaten 75 off 42 balls against Delhi Capitals with five sixes and three fours to help RCB post 171 for 5, which turned out to be just enough as DC scored 170 for 4 and lost the match by 1 run.
AB De Villiers hung up his boots in 2018, bringing an end to his illustrious 15-year-old cricketing career for South Africa but since last year, the talismanic batsman has been speaking about making a u-turn on retirement. He had aggregated 207 runs in 6 innings at an average of 51.75 at a highly impressive strike rate of 164.28 in IPL 2021.