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Keeping it simple, AB’s recipe for success

Sticking to the basics and executing the gameplan to a nicety have been the hallmark of AB de Villiers’ success story, not just in the IPL but also for South Africa, writes G Krishnan.

cricket Updated: May 19, 2009 01:21 IST
G Krishnan

Sticking to the basics and executing the gameplan to a nicety have been the hallmark of A. B. de Villiers’ success story, not just in the IPL but also for South Africa. The Delhi Daredevils’ middle-order batsman is only second to Matthew Hayden in the number of runs scored in the competition so far — 405 at an average of 67.50 with three fifties and a century.

On Sunday, he brought the Daredevils back on track after a rare failure on Friday night to Kings XI Punjab. “I have been following a gameplan for the last two years in Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20,” said A.B. on Sunday night after yet another match-winning unbeaten 79 against Rajasthan Royals. “I get my eye in and get used to the conditions before I start expressing myself.”

With Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag falling way below their own standards in this tournament, the burden of batting has fallen on two key overseas players — A.B. and Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Asked what keeps them going together more often than not, A.B. said: “It is a simple gameplan that we follow. He has got his own plan and I have my own. We stick to it even if we are under pressure.”

A.B. de Villiers has been the most popular South African cricketer during the IPL. Ask any cricket fan and he would come out with just two letters — A. B. “I appreciate the support of the South African public. We don’t get crowds for our domestic Pro20…but we are getting lots of supporters for the IPL. I am enjoying and hoping to have a good time in the last week of IPL before going to England for the World T20.”

Going into the World T20, A.B. said, “It is nice to pick up the momentum and it gives you the confidence going into the tournament."