When and where is AB de Villiers at his best?

Photo by Sarah Ansell

AB de Villiers is very good. We’re pretty sure most of you will agree with that insightful assessment. But where do we  see him at his best?

We can think of five immediately obvious environments in which AB de Villiers might be seen.

  • In a music video
  • Just sort of milling around in public, at an airport say
  • In T20 cricket
  • In one-day cricket
  • In Test cricket

Let’s quickly run through each of these to try and work out where AB de Villiers is at his best.

Because if you want to see a thing renowned for its very-goodness, ideally you want to stand a reasonable chance of having the very qualities that define that very-goodness displayed to you, otherwise what’s the point?

In a music video

In a music video is a place in which AB de Villiers appears to be a below-average person. In a music video does not show AB de Villiers at his best. (More on this subject here.)

Just sort of milling around in public, at an airport say

AB de Villiers may well attract a certain amount of attention when he’s just sort of milling around in public, at an airport say, but we’d argue that this is merely residual attention resulting from his feats in other environments. AB de Villiers is no better at just sort of milling around in public, at an airport say, than anyone else. In fact he’s arguably worse, because he no doubt has a tendency to flee back indoors what with all the attention and whatnot.

In T20 cricket

AB de Villiers will often make slightly more runs than other people playing in the same T20 cricket  match and he will generally make those runs slightly more quickly. AB de Villiers looks very good in T20 cricket.

In one-day cricket

We would argue that AB de Villiers looks slightly better in one-day cricket than he does in T20 cricket. Given more time to make runs, the difference between himself and other batsmen playing in the same match will generally become more apparent.

In Test cricket

In Test cricket, with no real time constraints, batsmen can go about making their runs however they damn well choose. They needn’t feel rushed into playing shots they don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. They can play how they want.

Despite this, there are times when even mere survival is beyond most batsmen when AB de Villiers not only survives, but also scores runs, and not only scores runs, but does so at a rate utterly beyond most people even on a day when survival is not a seemingly unattainable goal.

We would therefore argue that ‘in Test cricket’ is the environment where AB de Villiers is at his best.

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17 Appeals

  1. From a Cricket Badger/Cricketer Spotted point of view, there is no better environment for A B De Villers than, for example:

    * milling around at an airport
    * changing trains at Clapham Junction because he wants to go to Victoria rather than waterloo
    * complaining at a checkout in Tesco that the promoted “three packets for £10” offer has not been honoured
    * outside Next in Oxford Street, gazing at the casual menswear mannequins.

    Isn’t playing cricket of any kind somewhat secondary in this regard?

    • King Cricket

      March 13, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Yet this is not an area in which he is exceptional.

      In Cricket Badger terms, a sighting of AB de Villiers on public transport is greatly less satisfactory than a sighting of Ronnie Irani on public transport.

      • With all due respect, KC, I think you are looking at the matter a little narrowly.

        Ronnie Irani, changing trains at Clapham Junction, would be all of a flurry, with many excessive movements that might lead to problems and which might impinge on performance.

        AB de V, on the other hand, would be sparse of movement, identifying the line and the length of the train very rapidly, with head still at the moment of embarkation. Simple. Repeatable. Minimum effort, maximum result.

        Similarly, the complaint in Tesco – Ronnie would be sounding off about all manner of irrelevancies; “you’re in the efficiency business as well as the grocery business”…that sort of thing.

        AB de V, on the other hand, would simply look the cashier in the eye, point to the bargain offer labels and say, “it says three packets for £10” – head perfectly still at the moment of impact.

        Unexceptional? Sorry, KC, I beg to differ.

      • King Cricket

        March 14, 2018 at 9:01 am

        These are all valid points, but they ignore the simple fact that an Irani or a Mullally or an Ealham or an Igglesden are just fundamentally superior sightings, operating on a wholly different plane to de Villiers.

      • For the airport example, I’m not convinced that the players you mention would be on a different plane to AB de V…

        …but I suspect they would be in economy, while AB would be flying Club Class.

        You set up that gag, din’t you, KC?

      • King Cricket

        March 14, 2018 at 9:54 am


        It was very well delivered.

  2. I vote for “when beating Australia”.

  3. The answer definitely isn’t c)

  4. It seems to me that, in ODIs, ABdeV gets a lot of chance to think & hence choke

    whereas in a do or die situation such as a Test match where batting is extremely difficult, brings out the best in him.

  5. Idea for a new (and guaranteed to be a short) list!

    Bloggers ‘n’ Sloggers XI

    Alex Bowden de Villiers.

    Come on, gather around and help out.

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