ICC T20 World Cup: Can AB de Villiers change the fortunes against India?

Ankit Banerjee

"Show Them Who You Are" and "Maak Jou Drome Waar” are songs only a music fanatic must have come across once or make that twice in his lifetime; our surprising protagonist is the one who strummed the guitar in these songs. I mentioned ‘surprising’ because he is not someone you would associate with music. He clears all the cricketing grounds across the globe with the willow in his hand. The Pretoria-born AB de Villiers is of breathtaking enterprise in the world of cricket. Extensive repertoire of skills and temperament back his creative intent.

A creature able to leap tall buildings and still come up with a catch, a wicketkeeper who is perfectly at ease donning pads and gloves, he is one cog in the South African wheel which would make President Jacob Zuma feel more proud of his nation.

His love affair with the game started eight years ago against England when he received his Test cap. From there on in, as they say, there has been no looking back for this superbly talented Pretorian. In a very short span of time, he has accumulated 13 centuries and 29 fifties in Tests. This dynamic cricketer also proudly holds the record for most Test innings without registering a duck, before being dismissed for nought against Bangladesh in November 2008.

He also holds the second-highest individual score by a South African batsman in an innings, with 278*. Until 2012, he was a stand-in wicketkeeper for the South African cricket team; he is also tagged as one of the best fielders currently in the international circuit. AB de Villiers blasted the seventh fastest century in ODI cricket in just 58 balls when he slammed an unbeaten 102 off just 59 balls against India in Ahmedabad in February 2010. He then topped the charts for his prolific manner of run scoring in Tests in March 2012.

The ongoing World T20 has by no stretch of imagination been even close to his best. South Africans have not fared well in this tournament and are on the brink of being knocked out. With one solitary match to go in the Super Eight stage of the tournament and it being a must-win game against an inconsistent Indian team, the role of this right-hander becomes doubly more important; it is important for Abraham Benjamin de Villiers to play a crucial role in the match.

He will first be captaining the Proteas, and then he will be the most looked up to batsman when they bat, apart from being in-charge behind the stumps. As of now, the Proteas have not even come close to performing to potential, the questions ahead of the all-important Super Eight clash against India would be, Can the force of AB de Villiers change things around? Can AB de Villiers outthink Dhoni? Will he play that inspirational winning knock? Can he take South Africa to the last four from nowhere’?
The answers will release late in the night tomorrow.

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