AB De Villiers: Is He The Next Jonty Rhodes?

Zaakir HoosenAnalyst INovember 5, 2008

Diving catches, quick pick-ups, and direct throws at the wickets, AB de Villiers is one of South Africa's premier fielders and middle order batsman.

The young 24 year old who was born in Pretoria, is seen as the next Jonty Rhodes, in terms of his fielding attributes and quick running between the wickets.

From a young age AB has been impressing, he played for Carrickfergus Cricket Club in Northern Ireland as a professional. De Villiers became the second youngest and second fastest South African to reach 1000 test runs after Greame Pollock.

de Villiers is a natural born sportsman, apart from cricket he has talents in golf, rugby, and tennis. After a short spell for the Under 19 South African team, he made his debut for the Titans.

AB made his test debut at an early age of just 20, against England in Port Elizabeth. Initially he was an opening batsmen but was later dropped down the order. apart from batting and been an outfielder, his the national team's reserve wicket keeper.

In 2005, AB de Villiers ran Simon Katich out in what seemed an impossible run-out, it even surprised the likes of Clarke and Poniting.

On Wednesday evening, 5th November 2008, AB was yet again involved in a piece of class. A high catch which was missed by stand in captain Johan Botha was missed and fell inches away, the ball was then thrown to de Villiers by Botha, at this point Mohammed Ashraful of Bangladesh was out of his crease when AB took a full body dive and took all three stumps out, a similar run like the one Jonty Rhodes took in the 1992 World, when he ran Inzimam-ul-Haq out.

Apart from his marvelous fielding achievements, AB has excellent statistics batting both in test and one day internationals. He has played 72 matches ODI's to date with an average of 36.09 and a strike rate of 83.56, he currently has scored 2202 runs.

As a test batsman, he has played 44 matches scoring 2955 with an average of 41.61 and a highest score of 217 (not out).

AB also played for Delhi DareDevils in the Indian Premier League where he was signed (bidding fee) for $300 000

For a young 24 year old, it seems that the future of SA cricket lies beneath him, together with other youngsters the likes of Hashim Amla and JP Duminy, South African cricket has a bright future.