AB de Villiers – How Good is He?

Ask a cricket fan who the best ODI cricketer of the past decade is and on the sub-continent you might receive the reply Tendulkar or Sangakkara, in Australia, Ponting and in the West Indies, Gayle.

Purely in statistical terms AB de Villiers both currently and over the past ten years is the best ODI batsman in the world. The four batsmen mentioned in the first paragraph cannot match him either in averages or strike rate. His closest challenger is probably Virat Kohli. Their averages are similar at a little over 50 while AB’s strike rate is superior at 96 to 90. That, of course, as is usually the case with statistics, does not tell the whole story.

It is AB’s mastery on all surfaces, against all types of bowling that gives him the edge. Kohli struggled on the recent tour of England and before that, on South African pitches. When did anyone last see de Villiers in trouble against any bowler? Usually, he gets himself out, the bowler has little to do with it.

I believe that he is now a better player than was Kallis, as he dominates bowling attacks rather than frustrating them and probably the best player in world cricket in all formats of the game but that is an argument for another time.

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Terence Dale Lace lives with his wife, Sara, and son Tim along with their two dogs. He is a keen follower of school rugby and cricket. He writes about topical issues in sport news where original and sometimes controversial writing will, he hopes, spark thoughtful responses.

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