Born on February 17, 1984, Abraham Benjamin de Villiers has rose from the ranks to become one of the world’s best batsmen, across all formats. De Villiers has played 106 Test Match, 216 One-Day Internationals and 73 T20 Internationals for his country and is currently in the top 10 of both the Test and ODI player rankings.
He has established himself as one of the most destructive batsmen in the modern game and can take any bowling apart with his wide array of strokes. His ability to innovate has left bowlers hapless on many occasions. His caught the eye of the selectors as he was fast-tracked into the national squad at an early age of 20. He made his Test debut against England in Port Elizabeth and showed his class with a fine knock of 52 in just his fourth innings with the bat. He registered his first century during the same series, a superb 109 on his home ground in Centurion.
[quote cite=””]He has established himself as one of the most destructive batsmen in the modern game and can take any bowling apart with his wide array of strokes.[/quote]
Having played both as an opener and as a lower-order wicket-keeper-batsman in his first Test series, de Villiers was earmarked for greatness. He soon proved his worth by amassing 460 runs in his first away tour to the Caribbean Islands in 2005.
He became the first South African player to hit a double century against India when he smashed 217 runs in Ahmedabad. The flamboyant right-hander scored runs for fun. It included a superb 278 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in November 2010, briefly placing him at the top of the ladder for the highest individual score by a South African batsman.
On 18 March, during the third ODI against Pakistan in Johannesburg, de Villiers and Hashim Amla shared a record for the highest third-wicket partnership of 238.
[quote cite=””]De Villiers is unquestionably one of the best ever players to grace the shorter formats, where he is currently the No. 1 batsman in ODI rankings. He is without doubt one of the most exciting batsmen across all formats of the game.[/quote]
De Villiers scored 12 fours and three sixes in his innings of 128. In December 2013, de Villiers became the ninth batsman in history to top the batting rankings in both Tests and ODIs.
On January 18, 2015, de Villiers smashed the West Indies bowlers to all corners of Johannesburg, recording the fastest ever hundred in ODI history. He broke Corey Anderson’s record, who achieved the feat in 2014 in 36 balls. The South African took five balls fewer to score his hundred and also equalled Rohit Sharma’s record for most number of sixes hit in an innings with 16 sixes, before being dismissed for a 44-ball 149.
During the 2015 World Cup, in the match against West Indies, de Villiers scored 162 runs off 66 balls leading South Africa to their second highest total in world cup history (408) on the Sydney Cricket Ground. With this feat, he also became the record holder for the fastest 50, 100, and 150 in ODI history. He amassed 482 runs in the tournament and was the third highest run-scorer.
See de Villiers this summer – South Africa v Pakistan
AB de Villiers averages 61.86 against Pakistan and has scored three centuries against the side. He will be looking to lead his country to another victory when South Africa take on Pakistan on Wednesday 7 June in a day/night fixture at Edgbaston. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by simply clicking here and visiting the ICC Champions Trophy ticketing website.