“IF I HAVE TO PICK THE BEST BATSMEN IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, ONLY TWO NAMES COME TO MY MIND. ONE IS AB DE VILLIERS AND OTHER IS VIRAT KOHLI.”
This is what former England Captain Nasser Hussain had to say, when asked about who the best batsman in the world is right now.
Before the start of the much awaited India’s tour of South Africa we try and analyse who amongst the two great friends will be more effective during the upcoming series.
“AB is a great friend of mine. I respect the way he plays the game and I have always respected him as a person as well. But, when we are playing against each other it’s not that we cross the line with each other, we are just not like that.”
This was what Indian skipper Virat Kohli said in a recent press conference regarding his good friend AB De Villiers ahead of the test series.
The Indian team led by a rejuvenated Virat Kohli have been in tremendous form in 2017 in the longest version of the game. They have been undefeated in all the test series in the calendar year showing great promise. But South Africa is one of the two countries where the Men in Blue have never been victorious in 25 years of history.
So Virat Kohli’s form will both as the skipper as well as batsman will be crucial for the Indian side.
The Indian Skipper has played 63 test matches scoring 5268 runs at an average of 52.75. His highest score in tests is 243. But most of his success has come in the subcontinent with him scoring 12 out of his 20 test tons. He has also enjoyed success in Oceania scoring 6 test tons in 10 matches.
Against the mighty South Africans, Virat has scored 472 runs in 6 matches at an average of 47.20. He has only played 2 test matches in the Rainbow nation so far with 272 runs and a solitary century under his kitty.
AB de Villiers:
AB de Villiers has played 108 test matches getting 8127 runs at an average of 50.47. With 21 centuries under his belt, AB has a top score of 278*.AB has had pretty much success at home scoring 12 centuries and 4950 runs in 59 matches.
In his 8 test matches at home against India spanning 3 series, AB has shown his dominance with 493 runs in 8 matches. The Proteas superstar was also awarded the Man of the Series title, the last time India toured Down Under in 2013-14.
Judging from his style of play, Virat Kohli has always been a little shaky in front of bowlers who can generate genuine movement off the pitch. His seeming weakness against seam movement is pretty much evident from his terrible statistics playing in English conditions.
But having said that, Virat’s only test ton in Africa came against a South African attack of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis at the Wanderers.
He has also been in terrific form of late scoring 1059 runs in 10 test matches at an average of 75.64.
AB on the other hand has been successful against all oppositions in his career with fair averages against all over. In fact two of his highest test scores have come in Asia, which proves his ease with both seam and spin.
However, South Africa’s star man has only played 4 test matches since 2016 scoring a mere 177 runs at a lowly average of 29.50. His only test in the last calendar year was against Zimbabwe and he is still not back to his best coming back from injury.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers will no doubt be the two most influential players in the coming series and much of their team’s success will be dependent on their respective forms.
For Virat, this will almost be a new challenge having only played two matches on South African soil before.
For AB, it will take some time to get back into the thick of things after a long gap from the game, in a tough series against the high flying Indians. But the fact that, AB will be playing at home in familiar conditions without the extra responsibility of leading the side, will slightly give him the edge over his IPL team mate.
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