AB de Villiers, the former captain of South Africa, recently revealed that he faced the most difficulty in facing a particular bowler during his career. AB de Villiers mentioned that he found it most challenging to face the legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne.
Throughout his international career spanning around 15 years, de Villiers dominated most bowlers. However, he struggled against Shane Warne during his early days.
In an interview with Jio Cinema, de Villiers recalled an incident related to Warne. He said, “In 2006, when I first went to Australia, my style or technique wasn’t very strong. Warne was there with his aura. I was not very experienced, and I knew he would get me out. When I faced the first ball, it was such an ordinary delivery that it didn’t matter. But when I looked up, he was looking straight at me.”
He further elaborated, “He was talking about picking up my weaknesses from behind the wicket. I scored 60 runs, the match seemed easy. But Warne was a smart and brilliant player. He quickly identified the flaws in my technique. He bowled very slow, and it was a straight delivery.”
He further added, “I got out to that straight ball. This weakness persisted in 2005, 2006, and 2007. I would often get out to straight deliveries. I paid the price for picking up my bat from behind.”
De Villiers also mentioned the most dangerous bowlers in the modern era, choosing India’s Jasprit Bumrah and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan. He said, “With age, you become more experienced. Then new bowlers pose a challenge, like Bumrah. He is always competitive. He never accepts defeat and always says something to you. I appreciate the way he plays cricket. I have faced him many times, and he has dismissed me several times. I enjoyed this competition.”
He continued, “Rashid Khan is also challenging to read. I have played big shots against him many times, but he always comes back strongly. He is also right in front of you. I hit three sixes off his deliveries, and he tried to get me out on the next ball. It’s always difficult to face these kinds of bowlers, and I have great respect for them.”
In conclusion, AB de Villiers highlighted the difficulties he faced against Shane Warne during his early career and expressed admiration for bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Rashid Khan who challenged him in the modern era. Despite the challenges, de Villiers appreciated the competition and respected their skills.