Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon believes that the former South African star cricketer AB de Villiers is still one of the best players in world cricket.
The Proteas cricketer AB de Villiers was one of the greatest batsmen in international cricket history. The right-handed batsman is the second most run-scorer in international cricket as a South African batsman. He scored 19,864 runs in 479 international innings (average 48.33).
He played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is where he scored 8,765 runs (average 50.66), 9,577 runs (average 53.50) and 1,672 runs (average 26.12) respectively. Although he was an in-form cricketer, AB de Villiers retired from the international cricket in May 2018.
AB de Villiers is famous for his ability to play all kinds of shots as everyone calls him Mr 360. Though he is not playing international cricket, he has maintained his familiar batting skills in different T20 leagues.
In the ongoing IPL season, AB de Villiers is busy to serve for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Though his side has disappointed this season, the South African has maintained his batting form. At present, he is the second most run-scorer for his team as he has scored 441 runs in 12 matches with an average of 49.00 and strike-rate of 154.73.
Nathan Lyon has recently claimed that he loves the challenges to face the world’s best batsmen. During that interaction, he revealed his belief in AB de Villiers.
Lyon recently told The BackPage Live, “It’s an interesting one when you’re up against that challenge, but I’ve always said I want to challenge myself against the best players in the world. AB is still one of those guys.”
He is probably the hardest batter I’ve ever bowled – Nathan Lyon
At present, Lyon is one of the best spinners in the cricket world. Lyon met AB de Villiers in 15 international matches and managed to dismiss him only thrice.
Talking about AB de Villiers’ dangerous batting, Lyon believes that he is probably the hardest batsman.
Lyon added, “He is probably the hardest batter I’ve ever bowled to, and I’ve played against AB quite a few times now on different tours. He’s probably the one guy who I’ve thought: ‘He can probably hit me anywhere he wants at any time.'”
Lyon also shared a story where he revealed AB de Villiers’ batting strength. When the former Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson was dominating the world cricket through his fierce fast-bowling, AB de Villiers still maintained his class.
Lyon said, “There have been a couple of tours when Mitchell Johnson’s been bowling like the wind after a pretty amazing Ashes series here at home, and AB was pulling Mitch in front of square-leg and just back-footing drives and showing all the shots.”
Lyon is currently busy with the World Cup preparation. The 31-year-old Australian off-spinner will play his first Cricket World Cup in the upcoming edition.