AB de Villiers is a batsman who can adapt to any format or situation without fuss. So, whenever the Royal Challengers Bangalore have turned him in a moment of crisis, the 29-year-old has delivered.
In the Super Over against the Daredevils, de Villiers was the difference between two teams as he carted the last two balls from Umesh Yadav over mid-wicket to give RCB a thrilling win. Apart from his innovative shots, de Villiers brings versatility and balance to the team with wicket-keeping options.
In an interview, he spoke about issues ranging from the Super Over to his special shot-making skills and Virat Kohli's captaincy. Excerpts:
How difficult it is to handle the Super Over and the pressure of making most of the six balls? What kind of attitude does one need to carry?
It is a wonderful experience. It is just that you get six balls and it is a bit unfair to strike as a batter. The other night I got just four balls and had I not scored more than 10 runs, we would have lost the game.
That pressure is unfair. We kind of go in and right away we got to score. Normally, when I go out, I enjoy getting that time. I take about 10 balls to stay calm and then you accelerate and put pressure on the bowler. In the Super Over you don't have that kind of time. The team is relying on you in getting that boundary off each ball and it does get difficult.
The sixes over mid-wicket, was it planned or were you aware about where the bowler would bowl or did you let instinct take over?
I decided to go towards the leg-side, felt a lot more comfortable doing that. Other than that, I wasn't thinking about anything else. It was about watching the ball and make good contact. Lucky for me, it came off.
You have a wide range of shots in your armory. What do you attribute that to?
Those shots happen when I am in for a long time and have played 20-30 balls. It depends on the pace of the wicket, rhythm of the game, it becomes easy to read the bowler.
When it is only four balls in one over, it is tough to be innovative and create those kind of shots. I would rather keep it simple, stand still and watch the ball and try and hit it out of the park. To run around the crease and then hit them doesn't work. In a big game, you can always make it up, have a few dot balls but not in a Super Over so that's why I decided to stay back and clear the boundary.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.