When it was learnt that AB de Villiers will be wearing the gloves again and doing the taxing job of wicketkeeping for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), there were fears of excessive workload on the 36-year-old great South African batsman.
However, the man himself says he is really “enjoying” the extra responsibility within the side and feels his from behind the stumps is a fantastic position from where he can provide useful information to skipper Virat Kohli.
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“You have a very good view as a wicketkeeper. I have always enjoyed keeping, taking the gloves. It stopped for a while when I was captain of SA. Now I am taking the gloves back, I am very excited. Really enjoying that,” De Villiers said at the post-match presentation ceremony after win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Sharjah on Monday (October 12).
“You see things differently from the back. I have got a lot of info that I can use and share with Virat, he doesn’t always have to use it. But I do bounce off some ideas from time to time and the bowlers as well. As a wicketkeeper, you have a very good idea of the pace of the game.”
On whether wicketkeeping feels more draining an activity than fielding, De Villiers added, “Different skills completely (fielding and wicketkeeping). I have had days where I have felt drained out after fielding. It depends. I worked really hard with the gloves leading up to this (IPL) to make sure I am up to the standards.”
“I haven’t had a lot of opportunities for stumping or catches. I want to be the best there is, that’s always been my attitude.”
Against KKR, on a deteriorating surface where all other batsmen struggled for timing, De Villiers played one of his best innings in recent times, scoring 73* off just 33 deliveries to take RCB to a huge total of 194/2, which they later defended by 82 runs.
Speaking over his magnificent knock after being awarded the ‘Player of the Match’, De Villiers said he “surprised” himself on the night, especially coming on the back of a duck in the last match.
“Got a duck in the last game, a terrible feeling. Getting a duck can give batsmen sleepless nights Very happy that I contributed. Surprised myself out there tonight. Knew the wicket was quite tough to bat on. But I thought 145-150 wasn’t enough. So I looked to go further, and was surprised to get 194,” he concluded.
The victory was RCB’s fifth in seven outings, including two losses. They currently stand third in the points table.
The team next play Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Thursday (October 15).
(Inputs from India Today)