We all know what he is capable of – he has shown that on many occasions in his T20 and One Day career. But is calling AB de Villiers back into the Proteas setup after two and a half years such a great idea?
The mercurial right-handed batsman boasts an overall average of 37.15 in T20’s but a modest 26.12 in T20 Internationals – and this is where my concern comes from.
The former South African captain has plied his T20 skills all over the world, from the Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League to the Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash and Barbados Tridents in the West Indies but one thing De Villiers has failed to do is to emulate that on the international stage.
De Villiers has played 232 T20’s across the world, scoring 6985 runs at a strike-rate of 153.75 with four centuries and 52 fifties to his name. But De Villiers has failed to register a ton on the international stage with only 10 half-centuries in 78 knocks.
The IPL is by far De Villiers favourite hunting ground with the wicketkeeper-batsman averaging a touch under 40 in 154 matches with three centuries.
When comparing De Villiers to other South African batsmen in the T20 international landscape, his figures are far from spectacular.
The recently retired JP Duminy is South Africa’s leading run scorer with 1700 runs to his name and his average, having batted eight times less than De Villiers, is far healthier at 36.95, although De Villiers’ strike-rate is superior.
But considering the current crop of senior internationals in the team, the likes of Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and David Miller all have better averages.
De Villiers cracks a boundary every 8.8 balls and a six every 20.6 balls while Du Plessis (8.3) and De Kock (6.7) outstrip him on the boundary front. Only Miller is below De Villiers on this side of the fence but when it comes to clearing the fence, Miller has no competition.
Miller striked a six every 15.8 balls with De Villiers better than both Du Plessis (24.3) and De Kock (26.1).
The one thing De Villiers does bring to the table is experience, which will be invaluable to the side heading into the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November later this year.
De Villiers’ sole foray into the Big Bash league this year saw him score 146 runs in six innings at an average of 24.33 and a strike-rate of 140.38. De Villiers struck eight fours and six maximums, scoring them every 13 and 17.3 balls respectively – nothing really to write home about.
In my opinion, the decision to possibly bring De Villiers back into the fold would be wrong, considering that the former skipper hasn’t donned the yellow and green outfit for two and a half years.
But hey, what do I know…