AB de Villiers, often referred to as “Mr. 360,” is unquestionably one of the most extraordinary and accomplished batters to grace the game. During his cricketing career, he redefined the boundaries, consistently showcasing an astonishing array of shots that cover every inch of the cricketing field. From conventional strokes to audacious scoops and reverse sweeps, de Villiers had an answer to every delivery. His ability to read the game and adapt to different formats is astounding even after his retirement.
Recently in a live Q&A session on his YouTube channel, the 39-year-old shared his tactics for facing Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi.
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‘I would always cover the ball coming in’: AB de Villiers
On being asked, “How would you play Shaheen Afridi? How to score?” de Villiers unveiled the tactics he used while facing the left-arm pacers. The Proteas star mentioned that he always tried to stop the ball angling in towards him, the same way he used to deal with spin bowling.
“So for me, the left-handers swinging the ball into me, I would always cover the ball coming in, and that’s the way I played it; I always felt in very similar to spin bowling as well,” he stated.
De Villiers also mentioned that he would have played Shaheen very straight, considering the ball swings in. He, however, praised Pakistan seamer’s astounding pace that troubles the batters.
“I would play Shaheen expecting the ball to swing in, so very straight, leading to mid-on and straight past him, anything coming i would be ready for that and if he does that to me and he shapes it away from slips I would back my hands with my ability my talent to either in a very late manner to let it go or play through the covers and unfortunately for the batters he is very quick as well so you can’t really come out of your crease,” de Villiers further added.
Shaheen is currently representing Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023. The left-handed pacer has so far picked up eight wickets in four matches in the ongoing tournament.
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