Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has heaped praise on Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batsman AB de Villiers.
The former South African captain has been a consistent performer for RCB over the years and has done a fine job for the Virat Kohli-led team.
AB has played some unbelievable knocks in his IPL career and he is well known to hit the best of bowlers for runs. In fact, de Villiers has not even spared Jasprit Bumrah, who is well known for his accurate death bowling. The linchpin has scored 112 runs against Bumrah in the IPL at a strike rate of more than 140.
The former Proteas batsman is known to hit the ground running and he makes batting looks easy as he can hit all around the ground. The right-hander scored 207 runs in six innings in the first phase of IPL and played a key role in the success of the team along with Glenn Maxwell, who was also at his best.
Overall, the talisman has scored 5056 runs in 176 IPL matches at an impressive average of 40.77 and a whirlwind strike rate of 152.38.
“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 told Star Sports.
Meanwhile, Gambhir feels there will be pressure on AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli as RCB is yet to savor success in the history of the IPL.
“You probably get 2 or 3 international bowlers (in the IPL) 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 as well, which could be one of the reasons, and year after year, if you don’t win that title the pressure keeps on increasing as well.”
On the other hand, AB scored a 46-ball 104 runs in the intra-squad match despite not playing any cricket since May 2021. RCB is placed at third place in the points table with five wins from seven matches after the first leg of the tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will resume their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on 20th September at Abu Dhabi.