AB de Villiers is one cricketer who does not need any introduction across formats. The Proteas batsman, famous as Mr 360 because he can smash the ball all around the ground, enjoys huge popularity across globe but nothing matches his reputation in India. With a cult-like following in a cricket-crazy nation, De Villiers has generated love, affection, and admiration in Indian hearts which remains unbeatable.
Talking about the popularity of this star cricketer in India, former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra in a recent video uploaded on his channel recalled a match between India and South Africa. The match was played in Dharamshala and De Villiers received a standing ovation from the crowd as he stepped in to play.
In the video, Chopra said that if we look at Indian cricketers then MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma are three players for whom the crowd roars when they enter the ground. Referring to Ind vs SA match, he said a similar standing ovation was given to De Villiers. “It was as if he was an Indian,” Chopra added. He said that this moment has been etched in his mind and will remain with him forever.
The former Indian batsman praised the Test and ODI numbers of De Villiers and termed them “phenomenal.” ABD has scored 8,765 runs in Tests at an average of 50.66. While in ODIs, he reached close to ten thousand runs with 9,577 with an average of 53.50. Chopra highlighted that his strike rate was always above 100.
Calling De Villiers, “runway match-winner in T20s,” Chopra said that there is a difference of chalk and cheese between his T20I and T20 numbers. He further said that De Villiers has been the same player in Tests, ODIs, and T20s but his performance for South Africa in T20I was not good. Of the 75 matches ABD played in T20I with an average of 26 and strike rate of 135, he scored only 1672 runs.