Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers is often considered as one of the batsmen to ever play the game. The Proteas ruled the cricket field with the bat with his ability to play shots in 360 degree. After announcing his retirement from international cricket in 2018, AB continued playing in franchise cricket across the game.
In IPL, ABD has been associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2011. The destructive batsman has led the Banglaore team to several wins on his own and is knows as one of the legends of the franchise alongside skipper Virat Kohli.
The 36-year-old picked a young RCB batsman, who he thinks has a lot of similarities with him in terms of playing style. De Villiers named RCB new recruit Josh Philippe as the player, he is excited to watch out for. Philippe played for Sydney Sixers in Big Bash League.
“We are going to have some world-beaters in this edition, we will have Finch, Moeen Ali, Adam Zampa and Josh Philippe. I am looking forward to connecting with Josh, I see a lot of similarities between the way he plays when I was younger. The four guys joining us will add to what we have created here and that is a very special team environment. I am excited about Josh, I watched him play for the Sydney Sixers, he takes the new ball on, he is a very talented player, I have heard Gilchrist say really some good things about him,” AB de Villiers told in a recent video posted by RCB on Twitter.
AB de Villiers talks about the team’s preparations for the Dream11 IPL, the new recruits joining this season, and he has a special message for the 12th Man Army.#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/llFYGpEzs7— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 16, 2020
The batting maestro also talked about playing without the crowd in the upcoming season of IPL in UAE. De Villiers said he will miss the loud Chinnaswamy crowd, but it didn't affect his game as he grew up playing like that.
“I think everyone wants to play in front of big stadiums, there is a sort of adrenaline that pumps into you when the crowd gets very loud especially in the Chinnaswamy, when the RCB crowd gets going, it gets difficult to stop the RCB side. We will miss that, I won’t say I am not used to it, I have played a lot of cricket in empty stadiums.
“I grew up like that, it’s only during the last few years of my international career that I played in front of full stadiums. Even then, every season I used to go back to play domestic cricket and play a four-day game and there were just four-five people sitting inside the stadium. But we will miss the RCB crowd without any doubt,” he said.
The weather conditions in UAE is slightly hotter than most of the places, on which ABD said he is not used to playing in these conditions. The former Proteas captain also recalled a memory of playing in the similar weather in India during Chennai Test where Virender Sehwag slammed 309.
“I am not really used to these type of conditions, it is very hot, it reminds of me a Test match we played in Chennai where Viru scored 309, that’s the hottest conditions I have ever played in. The humidity is similar to that, when I arrived here, I googled the weather conditions for the next two months here in UAE. It seems to be getting better, I can already feel that it is better right now. It is important to have energy and the weather will definitely have a part,” he pointed.