Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg termed South African legend AB de Villiers the best batter in the last five overs of an innings in the IPL. De Villiers had a strike rate of 223 from overs 16 to 20 in the T20 league.
37-year-old De Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday. Taking to Twitter, the former South African captain wrote that the flame is no longer burning brightly for him. De Villiers announced his retirement from international cricket in 2018, but carried on playing franchise cricket.
Paying tribute to ABD, Hogg said that he was a brilliant performer for South Africa in all versions of the game, but took his game to another level in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The 50-year-old said on his YouTube channel:
“What a player. He was brilliant for South Africa across formats, but in the IPL he was sensational. He and Virat Kohli carried that RCB batting line-up. He was the best in the business in the final five overs in the IPL. He had a strike rate of 223 in that period. The range of shots that he had – the ramps, the drives down the ground, the pull shot, the cuts and reverse sweep. He had everything.”
De Villiers was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) line-up that reached the playoffs in IPL 2021 before going down in the Eliminator. He scored 313 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 148.34 with a best of 76 not out.
“He always kept the percentages in his favor” – Brad Hogg on what made AB de Villiers special
On the one quality of De Villiers he admired the most, Hogg pointed out that the aggressive batter always kept the percentages in his favor. The former chinaman bowler elaborated:
“When he wanted to go over the top for those sixes, he wasn’t just trying to hit over that outfield, he was trying to hit the gaps as well. If he mistimed it, he still gave himself a chance of getting a four. His ability to hit the gaps while going for the sixes separated him from the rest. The other batters were not so articulate when it came to playing those big strokes.”
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De Villiers ended his IPL career with 5162 runs in 184 matches at a strike rate of 151.68. He smashed three hundreds and 40 fifties during his memorable career in the T20 league.