AB de Villiers continues to prove that age is just a number as evident from his superlative knock against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2020 on Monday night. The South African veteran, 36, smashed the KKR bowlers to all parts of Sharjah, powering Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a match-winning total of 194 for 2 in 20 overs. The accolades came thick and fast with RCB skipper Virat Kohli dubbing his teammate “superhuman”. For long, there has been a growing call from multiple quarters for De Villiers to come out of retirement, and current India coach Ravi Shastri drummed up that beat once again, saying “the game in these trying times or otherwise needs you back in the international arena”.
“Now, that the penny has dropped. What one saw last night was unreal. And the feeling is the same waking up. @ABdeVilliers17, the game in these trying times or otherwise needs you back in the international arena and out of retirement. The game will be better off,” Shastri tweeted on Tuesday morning.
Now, that the penny has dropped. What one saw last night was unreal. And the feeling is the same waking up. @ABdeVilliers17, the game in these trying times or otherwise needs you back in the international arena and out of retirement. The game will be better off #RCBvKKR #IPL2020 pic.twitter.com/s9BG6MxiCv
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) October 13, 2020
The South African had shocked the world by suddenly announcing his retirement from international cricket in May 2018. However, the veteran batsman is still fit as a fiddle, and striking the ball just as well as he used to in his heydays.
His brilliance with the bat was once again on show on Monday. De Villiers cracked an unbeaten 73 off just 33 balls, which included five fours and six sixes. To put De Villiers’ knock into perspective, Virat Kohli, who also remained unbeaten and saw the magic unfold from the non-striker’s end, ended up scoring 33 off 28 balls.
In reply, KKR could only manage 112 for nine in their 20 overs, further proving De Villiers’ superhuman abilities.
The South African was batting on a different level to others in Sharjah, but this is not the first time he has done so. Even when Virat Kohli was struggling for runs at the beginning of IPL 2020, De Villiers hit two half-centuries in three matches to lessen the damage of Kohli’s failures.
De Villiers now has 228 runs from seven games in IPL 2020, averaging 57 and a strike rate of 185.36 — better than anyone in the top 20 of the ‘most runs’ scored list this year.
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