South African cricketer AB de Villiers is one of the most popular faces in the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore team. However, the player’s form was a serious cause of contention among fans and critics alike due to him not having played international cricket for a long time.
Surprisingly, during RCB's first match of the new IPL campaign, de Villiers connected his bat with the ball with ease and gave his team a much needed boost. Following a stable start in the form of youngster Devdutt Padikkal, RCB’s star-studded batting lineup started crumbling down. But AB’s 51 runs off 30 balls helped Bangalore set SRH a target of 164.
How did he manage to score a brilliant half century at the correct time? AB says he actually surprised himself with his performance.
Speaking after the match, which RCB went on to win by a small margin, the 36-year-old said, “I surprised myself, to be honest. We had a competitive game in South Africa which was quite nice. It was important for me to get out there and I arrived here with a little bit of confidence”.
After having played in the Big Bash League in January this year, AB had played in South Africa’s 3T Cricket in July.
“When you come here and you haven’t played a lot of cricket so you do doubt yourself,” he said. “But we have worked really hard in the last four weeks as a team and as an individual to get myself in some kind form. Tonight was a very pleasing start. Unfortunately got out form a run-out at the end but I am pretty happy with the basics that seem to be in place”.
SRH were dismissed for 153 in their run chase, as RCB clinched a 10-run victory to open their campaign on Monday.
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KKR have finally found their mojo with the late inclusion of tearaway pacer Lockie Ferguson and they would look to avenge their first leg rout by the star-studded RCB when the two sides clash on Wednesday.
Chasing 178, De Villiers smashed six sixes to help RCB win the game after they found themselves in a difficult position following the dismissal of Virat Kohli with the team struggling at 104 for three in the 14th over.
RCB captain Virat Kohli also said that his bowlers should have been able to defend 171 against KXIP.