IPL 2021: RCB Should Consider AB de Villiers Opening The Batting, Says Sunil Gavaskar
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IPL 2021: RCB Should Consider AB de Villiers Opening The Batting, Says Sunil Gavaskar

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Sunil Gavaskar said AB de Villiers’ ‘audacious’ shots are ‘jaw dropping’ and he brings so much joy to the viewers that his franchise RCB should consider sending him to open the batting, which will allow him to bat 20 overs.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar described AB de Villiers’ unbeaten 75-run innings against Delhi Capitals in an IPL 2021 in Ahmedabad on Tuesday as ‘amazing’ and ‘magical’.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar: AB de Villiers Makes One’s Jaw Drop With The Kind Of Audacity With Which He Plays Some Shots

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 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. Sunil Gavaskar said AB de Villiers’ ‘audacious’ shots are ‘jaw dropping’ and he brings so much joy to the viewers.

“It’s amazing. It’s just magical. You can walk around the earth, just to see this man-bat because he brings in so much. He gives you so much joy, he makes your jaw drop with the kind of audacity with which he plays some shots,” said Gavaskar on Star Sports after RCB reclaimed the top spot in IPL 2021 points table.

DC vs RCB: AB de Villiers hits a shot during Match 22 of IPL 2021.© Twitter
DC vs RCB: AB de Villiers hits a shot during Match 22 of IPL 2021.© Twitter

Put in to bat, Royal Challengers Bangalore had seemed destined for a moderate score until AB de Villiers came in with the score of 60 for three. Helped partly by Rajat Patidar, who made 31, AB de Villiers produced final over fireworks that changed the game. Virat Kohli said that the South African went “berserk” with his man of the match performance. RCB were 114/4 in the 15th over and were 139/5 in the 18th over but the last two overs saw 32 runs.

Sunil Gavaskar: AB de Villiers Should Be Sent To Open The Batting

AB de Villiers, who had not played competitive cricket in the five months before the IPL, hit 23 runs off the only over that Marcus Stoinis bowled, with three of his five sixes. AB de Villiers said he spends much of the time in the team’s pandemic bio bubble working out in his hotel room.

“You have to stay fresh,” said the 37-year-old.

Calling AB de Villiers a ‘genius’, Sunil Gavaskar said he would love to see AB de Villiers open for RCB as that would allow him to play 20 overs.

“When you see a genius like that, you want to go and just watch him carry on. You want to say to the opposition – ‘Listen, why don’t you send him to open the batting because we can get to see more of him rather than him coming in the 10th or the 11th over. Let’s see 20 overs of ABD’, that’s what I, as a former batsman, always say when I see AB de Villiers in this kind of form,” he said.

Talking about the massive sixes that former Protea batsman AB de Villiers hit, Sunil Gavaskar said the ramp shot over the third man was his favourite.

“We talk about the big sixes. There was one shot where he just opened the face of the bat and ramped the ball down to the third man. That was an incredible shot because it was hit literally at the last second when he opened the face of the bat,” he added.

Heartbroken Rishabh Pant after he hit a four off the last ball when DC needed 6 runs | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Heartbroken Rishabh Pant after he hit a four off the last ball when DC needed 6 runs | Photo: BCCI / IPL

The fifty was up for AB de Villiers in the penultimate over as he reached his half-century with a four. AB de Villiers finished the innings in style, scoring 23 runs off the last over bowled by Marcus Stonis as he clobbered 3 sixes in 3 separate parts of the ground guiding RCB to a commanding total of 171-5 after 20 overs.

His match-winning 75* powered RCB to a competitive total before the bowlers defended the target in a final-over thriller.

DC scored 11 in the penultimate over after Rishabh Pant got a timely four and DC required 14 off the final over. Mohammad Siraj bowled the final over and conceded only 4 runs off his first four deliveries.

While Rishabh Pant smashed two fours off the final two deliveries and got to his fifty, DC fell short of a victory by 1 run, requiring 6 off the final delivery. The left-handed Shimron Hetmyer reached his half-century off only 23 deliveries but Rishabh Pant and his unbeaten partnership of 78 runs for the 5th wicket went in vain.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 171/5 (AB de Villiers 75*, Rajat Patidar 31; Avesh Khan 1/24 ) beat Delhi Capitals 170-4 (Rishabh Pant 58*, Shimron Hetmyer 53*; Harshal Patel 2/37) by 1 run.

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