There’s only one Mr 360 Degree in cricket and that is AB De Villiers.
As a little boy, AB De Villiers always wanted to be like Jonty Rhodes. Today, looking at his career, we can see that he clearly achieved a lot more. He created batting angles that we’d never seen before. While fielding, he flew around as if he had wings. Whenever he played, wherever he played, we could hear chants of “ABD ABD” for as long as he was on the field. With every passing year of his career, the chants kept getting louder. It is slightly hard to believe that this is all gone now. The genius cricketer has decided to retire from all forms of international cricket. While this is not a happy moment for his fans across the continents, still we cannot forget to celebrate the legacy of this master cricketer fondly known as Mr.360 Degree. Here is a small tribute to the man who made most of us love cricket.
ABD: The Adored, Admired & Loved
AB De Villiers was adored, admired and loved by everyone he played with and everyone who watched him play. There are not many names in the history of cricket who are loved equally both on and off the field. AB De Villiers is one of them. That is perhaps the reason why the world is saddened with the news of AB De Villiers retirement. He has impressed everyone with his warm and poised personality off the field. His gestures towards his fellow cricketers, especially his juniors have charmed his fans. He is somebody who knows how to lead, making others outshine and deliver their best. There’s no reason not to love him!
Moments of a Lifetime
De Villiers’ daredevil batting style and razor sharp fielding has established him as the most celebrated cricketers ever. While there are hundreds of magical moments that De Villiers has given us, picking a few wouldn’t do justice to him. Still, here are the ones that made us brim with joy and pride and left us wanting for more:
His sheer excellence during South Africa Vs West Indies at Johannesburg (2015) is still fresh in our minds. How can anyone on earth smash a hundred off 31 balls! A record which no one can beat.
A flat surface, but a landmark innings, Only ABD could have done that! We are talking about the West Indies Vs Pakistan Test series in Abu Dhabi (2010). De Villiers achieved South Africa’s highest individual Test score – 278* and played for 601 minutes. Hard to believe, but that happened!
Another stunning inning was De Villiers’ 217* against India in 2008. With an extraordinary victory, AB De Villiers became the first South African to make a double-century against India.
Not mentioning the very recent “superman” catch would make the entire piece futile. A spectacular display of his extraordinary athletic ability, De Villiers left everyone present at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium awestruck. Fielding on the rope at deep mid-wicket, De Villiers took this mind-boggling one-handed catch out of thin air. ABD leaped in the air and grabbed the ball making it one of the most memorable catches in the history of cricket.
An Unbelievable Stats!
De Villiers retires with a stunning test average of 50.66 and as the fourth-highest scorer for South Africa with 8,765 runs. He made 22 test centuries. In ODI cricket, ABD holds the records for the fastest 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls). The 34-year-old right-handed batsman is considered among the greatest cricketers of all time. Since his debut in 2004, De Villiers has struck 22 centuries in 114 Tests and 25 in 228 one-day internationals.
You Will Be Missed!
De Villiers is an extraordinary combination of sumptuous ball striking, inventiveness and brute strength. There is no qualm about him being a pro both with the bat and in the field. Perhaps no player in the history of cricket can bat the way AB De Villiers did in his decade-long career. ABD is one man who can block 300 balls to save a test match. If runs are needed, he can also score a hundred in just 30 balls. Known for a dazzling array of shots, the superstar of international cricket will no longer be seen wearing the Protea on his shirt.
That was AB De Villiers on the field- not just a cricketer but a phenomenon in himself.