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Full name Abraham Benjamin de Villiers
Born February 17, 1984, Pretoria
Current age 30 years 63 days
Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Delhi Daredevils, Northerns, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Titans
Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|Test debut||South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Dec 17-21, 2004 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v Australia at Cape Town, Mar 1-5, 2014 scorecard|
|ODI debut||South Africa v England at Bloemfontein, Feb 2, 2005 scorecard|
|Last ODI||South Africa v India at Centurion, Dec 11, 2013 scorecard|
|T20I debut||South Africa v Australia at Johannesburg, Feb 24, 2006 scorecard|
|Last T20I||India v South Africa at Dhaka, Apr 4, 2014 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Northerns v Western Province at Centurion, Oct 17-20, 2003 scorecard|
|Last First-class||South Africa v Australia at Cape Town, Mar 1-5, 2014 scorecard|
|List A debut||Northerns v Eastern Province at Centurion, Nov 26, 2003 scorecard|
|Last List A||South Africa v India at Centurion, Dec 11, 2013 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Titans v Lions at Centurion, Apr 8, 2004 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Bangalore T20 v Mumbai T20 at Dubai (DSC), Apr 19, 2014 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|45*||Bangalore||v Mumbai T20||Dubai (DSC)||19 Apr 2014||T20|
|-||Bangalore||v Delhi T20||Sharjah||17 Apr 2014||T20|
|10||South Africa||v India||Dhaka||4 Apr 2014||T20I # 399|
|69*||South Africa||v England||Chittagong||29 Mar 2014||T20I # 391|
|21||South Africa||v Netherlands||Chittagong||27 Mar 2014||T20I # 386|
|5||South Africa||v New Zealand||Chittagong||24 Mar 2014||T20I # 383|
|24||South Africa||v Sri Lanka||Chittagong||22 Mar 2014||T20I # 379|
|20*||South Africa||v Pakistan||Fatullah||19 Mar 2014||Other T20|
|4||South Africa||v Bangladesh A||Fatullah||18 Mar 2014||Other T20|
|11||South Africa||v Australia||Centurion||14 Mar 2014||T20I # 365|
A batsman of breathtaking chutzpah and enterprise, as well as the skills and the temperament required to back up his creative intent. A fielder able to leap tall buildings and still come up with the catch. A wicketkeeper who is perfectly at ease donning pads and gloves. A fine rugby player, golfer, and tennis player. All AB de Villiers needs to show off his abundant gifts is a ball. Just about any ball.
Cricket should be pleased to have him. Few drive the ball as sweetly and to the boundary as regularly, and - in South Africa, at any rate - even fewer possess the silkily snappy footwork required to put spinners in their place. de Villiers is also among the fastest and the most instinctively sensible runners between the wickets. Marry all that with an approach to life that veers between laconic and laid back, and it isn't difficult to fathom why he has been afforded senior player status in the South African team years ahead of his time.
de Villiers' potential was recognised years before he made the leap to senior international level as an opening batsman against England at Port Elizabeth in 2004-05. He has batted everywhere from number one to number eight - with the important exception of number three - and has performed well in most of these positions.
After a brief slump in form in 2006 and 2007, de Villiers returned to the straight and narrow early in 2008 with a blistering 103 not out off 109 balls in Durban against West Indies. Later that year came one of de Villiers' career highlights, an undefeated 217 at Ahmedabad. It was the first double-century by a South African against India.
South Africans do not take easily to the precociously talented, but it helps if they do not come across all precocious. Such is the case with de Villiers, whose lazy smile under an every-which-way thatch of blond hair has helped convince the nation that he's worth feeding despite all that talent. The nation is not wrong.
de Villiers adjusts to the requirements of cricket's various formats as effortlessly as someone of his ample abilities should do. So much so that he has yet to fall victim to the curse of selection disputes, a curse that has struck even as accomplished a player as Jacques Kallis. Instead, as a career that should be in its adolescence by the mere
measure of time and matches arches ever upward, the only question to be asked about
de Villiers is how to deploy him to maximum effect.
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