IPL 2021: The ABD of batting at Royal Challengers Bangalore

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on April 18, 2021
AB de Villiers of Royal Challengers Bangalore plays a shot during the IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders.— ANI

ABD said that it was just about having fun in the middle

AB de Villiers has been with the Royal Challengers Bangalore for a decade now, since moving from the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the fourth season of the IPL in 2011. And it has been a strong bond that has been built between him and the franchise, perhaps similar to the one-club legend Englishman Steven Gerrard of Liverpool, if one takes football as an example.

The South African has played many blinding knocks for RCB over the years, be it match-defining ones or even back-to-the wall stuff. And it's almost as if he bats for fun and is the master of all that he surveys. His dedication and loyalty to the RCB is unquestionable and the apt reward would be the IPL title that has so far proven to be elusive. This year, things are looking bright with Virat Kohli’s side remaining unbeaten in three matches and on top of the pile.

On Sunday night in Chennai, ABD played another one of those blistering knocks — a 34-ball 76 with nine boundaries and three sixes — that set up a 38-run victory over two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders.

Some of his previous scores across two IPLs — the one staged in the UAE and now in India — 55 not out against the Rajasthan Royals, 39 against the Chennai Super Kings, 15 against the Mumbai Indians, 24 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, 35 against the Delhi Capitals, 56 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, 48 against the Mumbai Indians, and the unbeaten 76 on Sunday night, just goes to underline his importance and how valuable he is to RCB.

And ABD said that it was just about having fun in the middle, after his latest knock.

“I did play well and had a lot of fun,” AB de Villiers told the host broadcaster.

But the 37-year-old, who was named Man of the Match, deflected all the credit to new recruit Glenn Maxwell. The Australian all-rounder played a very important hand of 78 from 49 balls that had nine boundaries and three sixes. He was also involved in a vital 86-run stand from 58 deliveries with the young opener Devdutt Padikkal, for the third wicket, after mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy had left RCB tottering at 9-2. Maxwell also added 53 from 37 balls with ABD for the fourth wicket. ABD then went on to stitch an unbroken 56-run partnership with Kyle Jamieson for the fifth wicket.

“Maxi (Maxwell) made it easier and it's difficult coming into a game on a pitch that has been slower. It was a bit of both. It wasn't a 200-wicket; maybe 170 was about par today (Sunday). The most important thing is I'm enjoying myself and my cricket and my family is here,” added de Villiers.

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