#NewsBytesExplainer: What lies ahead for AB de Villiers?
South African superstar AB de Villiers made a blistering return to professional cricket in the recently concluded 3TC Solidarity Cup. A 24-ball 66 helped his side Takealot Eagles clinch a gold medal in the match. De Villiers, who retired from international cricket in 2018, made headlines after yet again announcing his availability. In this article, we analyze the road ahead for De Villiers.
De Villiers hammered the ball all around the ground
Skipper De Villiers was on the charge right from the beginning as Eagles put up 66/1 in the first half. His pivotal stand with fellow batsman Aiden Markram grabbed eyeballs. However, the former broke the shackles in the following half, having projected an array of shots. De Villiers emerged as the second-highest run-scorer of the match after Markram (70).
De Villiers announced retirement in 2018
AB de Villiers had announced a sudden retirement from international cricket in May 2018. Over a year later, the right-handed batsman revealed he made last moment efforts to join the squad ahead of the World Cup. However, his proposal was rejected by the management as it would have been unfair on the young lot. He has been participating in several T20 leagues ever since.
A look at De Villiers' form in T20 leagues
Since 2018, AB de Villiers has been in terrific form in the global T20 leagues. He scored 325 runs at 46.43 in the Mzansi Super League 2019-20 in South Africa. He also featured in the Big Bash League 2019-20. AB was in sublime from during the 2019 IPL as well, wherein he racked up 442 runs in 13 matches at 44.20.
His form in international cricket since January 2017
Prior to his international retirement, De Villiers projected a considerable run. From January 2017 to March 2018, he amassed 1,830 runs from 37 internationals at 52.28. Notably, he averaged over 50 in all three formats (Tests - 53.15, ODIs - 52.18, T20Is - 50.66).
Mark Boucher had hinted at De Villiers' comeback
Ahead of the 2019 IPL, Proteas head coach Mark Boucher opened the doors for certain marquee players including De Villiers. He stated the latter is still in contention for a spot to participate in the upcoming T20 World Cup. "We will probably know what's going to happen with him. I would like to have our best players at the T20 WC," said Boucher.
'I don't want a special treatment'
Following his statement, AB asserted that he does not want to repeat the debacle of 2019 World Cup. "I have to work for my place and deserve it. It was very hurtful for me last year when people thought I assumed there was a place for me. I feel available, but I don't want special treatment," he had stated.
Will ABD make a return in T20Is?
The road of AB de Villiers' comeback won't be smooth as he will have to run the extra yard in terms of fitness. Last month, he wasn't named in South Africa's 44-man High Performance training squad. However, looking at their incumbent plight, his return will serve as a massive booster. It remains to be seen if he gets back in the mix.