The backbone of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise – Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) – AB de Villiers was all set to exhibit his class in the 2020 edition of the lucrative league which was supposed to begin from March this year. But, the coronavirus pandemic turned out to be the biggest villain and due to it, the 13th season of IPL got postponed for an indefinite period.
De Villiers has been a part of the Bangalore based franchise for nine long years. Numerous fans like his chemistry with RCB skipper Virat Kohli. They have played several memorable knocks together, entertaining the IPL followers across the world.
It’s pretty much expected when two huge players play together for such a long period; they tend to learn and take a lot of things from each other. A similar thing has also happened with De Villiers and Kohli.
Speaking about the same experience, the former South African captain revealed how the two helped each other improve on various aspects of batting.
During the chat with veteran Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz, De Villiers shed light on how Kohli picked up some of his tips to deal with short bowling. The 36-year-old said that he himself improved his approach against spinners after watching the Delhi-born cricketer.
“I grew up on South African wickets, back in the day when they were very quick. And the aggressive nature of the South African bowlers at the domestic level. They always test you on the short ball first and then they go top of you.
“It’s obviously a bit different in India where you’re not exposed to that kind of stuff growing up. I never really thought of playing the short balls, [it was a] more natural thing because I grew up that way.
“He [Kohli] picked up a few tips, and we chatted about it quite a bit. And vice versa – playing spinners in the middle overs. I watched him bat in the nets for ages, what he would do, where he would hit spinners, how he would rotate them, and I picked up a lot of things from his as well,” said De Villiers.
The Pretoria-born expressed how the Indian captain had achieved perfection in the technique of extending the arms when it comes to facing short balls in the last few years.
“I’ve spoken to Virat about it [playing the short balls], extending the arms – you can see how Virat extends his arms with the short ball. So if we can really get technical [here], it’s a difficult one for the mind to understand because the quicker the bowler is, the more you think you need to pull in, but you actually got to go towards the ball and go and fetch it.
“That’s the tough part to understand, and once you click that, the minute you see its shorter, and you try and extend your arms towards the ball, it becomes a lot easier to control it. That’s what Virat got right in the last five-seven years. Really extending it, and you can see he rolls his wrist, trying to keep it down, not giving a chance up in the air on the leg side is vital,” concluded De Villiers.