AB de Villiers: The former Indian batsman believes the former South African captain can attack the Indian spearhead at will in the IPL.
Former India batsman and current Member of Parliament from East Delhi constituency Gautam Gambhir has opined that there a “lot of pressure” on Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli and wicket-keeper batsman AB de Villiers for not being able to take their team past the victory line in the Indian Premier League.
“But yes obviously, from Virat’s [Kohli] standard they would want to go out and dominate the opposition, especially in the IPL. There’s international cricket where you’ve got five or six top international bowlers, you don’t have that in the IPL. You probably get two or three international bowlers and then you’ve got domestic bowlers as well, whom you could dominate.
“So, probably there’s a lot of pressure on Virat and AB [de Villiers] as well, which could be one of the reasons and year after year if you don’t win that pressure keeps on increasing as well,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by Star Sports in a pre-season show ahead of the second phase of the 14th season of the IPL.
It is worth mentioning that Royal Challengers are among the three teams (Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings being the others) which haven’t won a single IPL title despite playing in the tournament since its inception in 2008.
Gautam Gambhir believes AB de Villiers “only person” who can take on Jasprit Bumrah
Being bought by RCB for a whopping INR 14.5 crore in IPL 2021 auction, Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell had justified his price in the first phase of the tournament scoring 223 runs at an average and strike rate of 37.16 and 144.80 respectively with the help of two half-centuries.
In addition to Maxwell, de Villiers was their second-best batsman with his 207 runs coming at an average and strike rate of 51.74 and 164.28 respectively also including a couple of half-centuries.
Further speaking about Royal Challengers, Gambhir believed that Kohli has a “huge cushion” in the form of de Villiers and Maxwell despite losing four overseas players from their squad for the second phase due to various reasons.
Opening up on particularly attacking Mumbai Indians spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, Gambhir highlighted how 37-year old de Villiers still has it in him to take on arguably the best death-bowler in modern-day cricket.
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“He [Virat Kohli] has got people like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, which is a huge cushion to have. Even if it’s not Maxwell, AB is a massive cushion because there is only one person who can take on someone like Jasprit Bumrah and it was AB de Villiers. I have not seen anyone else who has done that consistently against Bumrah, but AB is a freak,” Gambhir said.
Readers must note that de Villiers has faced Bumrah in 12 IPL innings over the years. In 79 balls against Bumrah, de Villiers has scored 114 runs at a strike rate of 144.30 with the help of eight fours and seven sixes. Bumrah, on the other hand, has dismissed de Villiers on a couple of occasions in the IPL.