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'Whether you play him at No.5 or in Mars, he will be absolutely fine': Aakash Chopra hails 'genius' AB de Villiers

Aakash Chopra was left impressed with the RCB batsman, who despite being pushed down the order to accommodate an overseas allrounder, produced match-winning performances during IPL 2021.
UPDATED ON MAY 16, 2021 02:38 PM IST
File Photos of Aakash Chopra (left) and AB de Villiers.(HT Collage)

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra lavished rich praise on Royal Challengers Bangalore's wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers' performances during IPL 2021, saying the batsman played match-winning knocks despite batting lower down the order.

AB, who would traditionally bat at number 4 for RCB, was pushed down to No.5 to allow RCB to fit Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell in the position. The move paid dividends at the overseas duo, before IPL 2021 was suspended, emerged as the highest run-getters of the squad. While de Villiers scored 207 runs, Maxwell amassed 223 runs in seven matches.

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In a video shared on his YouTube channel, cricketer-turned-commentator Chopra hailed the Proteas batsman as a 'genius' for pulling off some magnificent innings during the first half of the season

"AB de Villiers is a genius. It is because all of us were saying that he should be batted up the order because the more deliveries you give him, the more impact he will have. But RCB was sending him at No.5. If you are sending him at No.5, how will the team and he do well? But AB de Villiers said it does not matter to him whether you play him at No.5 or in Mars, he will be absolutely fine," said Chopra.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra termed AB de Villiers a 'genius' for dishing out exemplary performances in his new role at No.5 in the batting order.

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Chopra singled out AB's innings against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on a slow Chepauk surface, saying it was a classy de Villiers innings.

"The knock he played against KKR was an absolute belter of an innings. He hit a flurry of fours and sixes while no one was able to score runs on that ground in the last four overs. But it was the class of AB de Villiers, who delivered once again," pointed out Chopra.

AB de Villiers played a bombastic knock of 76 off just 34 balls to take RCB past the 200-run mark to 204/4 in 20 overs. Eventually, Bangalore won the contest by 38 runs.

RCB, 2016 runners-up, were third in the points table--with five wins in seven matches-- before the tournament was indefinitely deferred due to the Covid-19 crisis in India.

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