South African ace batsman AB de Villiers, who has in his repertoire many shots that cannot be found in any cricket coaching manual, on Friday said the 360-degree range of shot-making comes naturally to him. The 33-year-old said he doesn’t practise these fancy shots on the field but sticks to the basics of the game.
Known for both conventional and unconventional shots to any part of the ground, de Villiers said cricket is a basic game and you need to have strong coaching-manual shots in place to excel.
“I don’t practise it a lot. Because of the schedule we have… if you’re an international cricketer and you play IPL as well, you honestly have no time at all to work on skills away from the game,” de Villiers was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.
“It’s something I’ve developed over the years, on the park. I’ve had no downtime to go and work on things like that. I feel it’s something that comes out naturally. It’s almost like I’ve got to set my foundation and a platform to express myself at the end. Those things just came naturally to me over the years,” he added.
“I practise my shots, but I don’t practise the silly, funny lap shots and things like that. There’s a time and a place for those shots. So I’ll wait for it. I like to keep my basics in place. I always believe cricket is a basic game where you need to have strong coaching-manual shots in place.”
The right-handed batsman rated his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli as the best batsman in the world as he plays in all three formats unlike the Proteas skipper.
“I don’t think I can be the best batsman. I don’t play all formats. He (Kohli) is definitely the best player in the world,” de Villiers said.
“He has got competition in quite a few players like Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, and there are a lot of players — with Quinton de Kock coming through — around the world. But I truly believe you can be the best player only if you play all formats in cricket. If you are in the top five in all three formats, that’s when you know you can really play the game,” he added.
When asked about achieving 10,000-run-mark in Test cricket, de Villiers, who has amassed 8074 runs in the longest format of the game, said he doesn’t care about all these records.
“I mean no disrespect to anyone who has ever achieved that, but it means absolutely zero to me to achieve 10,000 runs. I don’t care about that at all,” de Villiers said.