AB De Villiers
He earned his call-up for the first Test against England and after a composed debut as an opening batsman, he was handed the wicketkeeping gloves for the second Test.Updated: Oct 23, 2006 17:56 IST
Few Test debutants can have been asked to play so many roles in such a short space of time as AB de Villiers, and fewer still can have risen to the challenge with such alacrity that, at the tender age of 21, he was already being regarded as the future of South African cricket.
A product of Afrikaans Hoer Seunsskool in Pretoria, de Villiers was born to be a sportsman - although such was his natural talent, tennis, golf, cricket or rugby could have been his calling. Cricket won out, however, and after a prodigious spell in the South Africa Under-19 team, he made his debut for Titans in 2003-04, racking up five half-centuries in his 438 runs.
He earned his call-up for the first Test against England the following season, and after a composed debut as an opening batsman, he was handed the wicketkeeping gloves for the second Test in Durban, which he helped save with a maiden Test half-century from No 7. By the end of the series, however, he was back at the top of the order, and after falling eight runs short of a deserved century in the first innings at Centurion, he made instant amends second-time around. His development continued at a rate of knots in the Caribbean, where he helped seal the series with a wonderful 178 at Bridgetown.
First Published: Nov 11, 2005 16:31 IST