AB de Villiers: The legendary South African cricketer will keep wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore tonight.
During the 10th match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in Dubai, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers will keep wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The development was made public after the toss when it was announced that Royal Challengers have benched Australia wicket-keeper batsman Joshua Philippe. Earlier, veteran wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel used to keep wickets for RCB.
With opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal taking Patel’s batting position at the top of the order, Bangalore had no other option than to play de Villiers as a wicket-keeper batsman.
Punjab all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who has been included into the Playing XI by RCB, was another upopular option for captain Virat Kohli. While Mann has kept wickets for Kings XI Punjab in his formative years, he hasn’t performed that role for some years now.
When was the last time AB de Villiers kept wickets in a T20?
Out of de Villiers’ 420 international appearances, he has kept wickets in 109 matches (24 Tests, 59 ODIs and 26 T20Is). In 26 T20Is as a designated wicket-keeper batsman, de Villiers has scored 459 runs at an average of 20.86 and a strike rate of 126.19 including two half-centuries.
The last time de Villiers had kept wickets in a T20I was during the second T20I of England’s tour of South Africa in 2016 in Johannesburg. de Villiers, who scored a whirlwind 71 (29) with the help of six fours and six sixes while opening the batting in that match, has otherwise batted from No. 1 to No. 6 as a wicket-keeper batsman at the highest level.
Speaking about T20s, de Villiers used to perform the duty behind the wickets for Titans back in the day. Having joined RCB in 2011, de Villiers kept wickets for them in 2011-12 as well.
The last time that de Villiers kept wickets in a T20 was as recent as January 2020 when he turned up for Brisbane Heat against Melbourne Renegades at the Docklands Stadium in the Big Bash League.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 25, 2020
With Brisbane’s regular wicket-keeper batsman Jimmy Peirson unavailable for their last two matches, de Villiers kept wickets and also batted at No. 4. Co-incidentally, the right-hand batsman had scored 71 (37) with the help of two fours and six sixes to be adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ against Melbourne Stars in his first of the two matches as a wicket-keeper batsman.
Playing as a wicket-keeper at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium against Mumbai tonight, de Villiers scored a stroke-filled 55* (24) with the help of four fours and four sixes to power RCB to 201/3 in 20 overs.