Hyderabad: Former India star V V S Laxman feels A B de Villiers, without an iota of doubt, is the most complete batsman in the modern era, who has three to four shots in his repertoire for every delivery.
"Yes, he is without a doubt," the Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor said when asked if the South African was the most complete batsman in the modern era.
"... And I feel (Glenn) Maxwell is getting there. Like Maxwell, A B can play shots all around the wicket. He has got three or four shots for one delivery. There is nothing that he cannot do when he is batting. He is quick on his feet and in his thought process.
"To execute some of the shots he has played, one has to have a quick mind, which he has done effectively not only to mediocre bowlers but also to the best in the business. He is quick on his feet, always thinking, and an exceptional runner between the wickets, which makes him a complete cricketer."
The elegant batsman said de Villiers have the perfect blend of orthodoxy and innovation.
"That is why he is complete. Because of his good basic technique, even on tough conditions, he can adapt quickly. To unsettle the opposition, he can play some freak shots and get his innovation into the picture and change the game singlehandedly. He has the potential to play aggressively and be defensive at the same time."
Laxman did not end there, adding that the South African batting mainstay, who is playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, has an astute cricketing brain when it comes to batting.
"I do not know him personally, but the way he bats, you can make out that he responds to a particular situation in a certain way. A B exactly plays the way he should in a particular situation."
Talking about India and Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Laxman said every cricketer would like to have his temperament.
"The reason M S Dhoni has been so successful, is his temperament and situational awareness, which is so important for a cricketer. He understands exactly what is to be done as a captain and as a batsman in a particular situation, and he delivers more often than not.
"You may have the best technique and skill, but you need to know when to do what, which Dhoni does brilliantly. Dhoni`s game is totally different when he comes to bat early and when he bats down the order during pressure-cooker situations, which all boils down to situational awareness," Laxman said.
He felt the India skipper has progressed as a batsman over the years.
"The Dhoni during his debut was one-dimensional and the opposition bowlers could make him play according to their plans. But it is amazing how he has progressed as a batsman. He understands his own game and has the hunger to keep improving. MS Dhoni is an all-round player now."
Asked about Maxwell`s batting in this IPL, which he has made his own with some incredible batting, Laxman praised his "fearlessness" and termed him "destructive".
"Fearlessness. That is one thing that we saw very briefly in the ICC T20 World Cup this year. He was playing fearlessly, attacking from ball one without the fear of losing his wicket, which has worked well for him and for Kings XI Punjab.
The only difference between the T20 WC and the IPL is that he is converting starts into big scores."