AB de Villiers, the world’s most versatile batsman is celebrating his 36th birthday today. The former South African captain had made a name for himself with his unique stroke playing ability which enabled him to thrash the bowlers all around the park. This ability earned him the nickname Mr. 360 degrees as there was not a single corner of the ground where AB de Villiers’ wagon wheel was empty.
He invented several new shots which are used by the players of the modern era. The right-handed, unfortunately, ended his international cricket career early stating that he did not have enough fuel left him to play for South Africa. However, he has continued to play in the T20 leagues around the world. He played in Pakistan Super League and he will soon turn up for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.
Talking about the best shots of AB de Villiers, here are the top 3 shots that he plays.
The ‘leg-side’ loft :
While AB de Villiers is known to play shots all over the ground, he scores the maximum of his runs on the leg-side. And, compared to off-side, it is easy to score runs on the leg-side since the batsman has lesser chances of losing his wicket due to an outside or an inside edge. They can easily take the advantage of the pace of the ball and place the ball on the leg side. AB de Villiers could not only place the ball on the leg side but he can even dispatch them outside the boundaries.
On several occasions, the fans noticed AB de Villiers playing the leg-side loft shot to add 6 runs to his team’s scoreboard. It did not make a difference whether there was a pacer or a spinner at the other end, de Villiers could easily play this shot.
Straight down the ground shot
The cricket experts say that a true batsman is one who scores most of his runs in ‘V’. This ‘V’ is nothing but the area in front of the bowlers ranging from long off to long on. AB de Villiers played very few shots to long on or long off as he focused on playing more shots which went from near the stumps. Often the umpires had to stay alert when AB de Villiers was playing because his down the ground shots could have injured them.
The reverse scoop
Kevin Pietersen is known to be the inventor of the switch hit where a right-handed batsman turns left-handed for a moment and confuses the bowler to take the maximum runs off that ball. David Warner later used that stroke to perfection. Then came Tilkaratne Dilshan who launched the scoop shot which sent the ball straight over the wicket-keeper’s head. However, Mr. 360 mixed both the shots and gave birth to the reverse scoop where the batsman simply reverses his bat and places it in such a manner that it goes past the fielder at third man and clears the boundary thanks to the pace of the ball. Glenn Maxwell and Jos Buttler later added this shot to their arsenals.
You can watch all the shots in the video here.