South Africa Cricket Players
AB de Villiers
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers (b. 17th February, 1984) in Pretoria. More commonly known by his initials AB, he plays cricket for South Africa and the Northern Titans.
He is a right-handed batsman, who, in a very short space of time, has accumulated many runs and scored three centuries in Tests; including centuries against England, the West Indies and Zimbabwe. He also has 4 Test 90's. He has also rapidly become a decent ODI batsmen and is currently being touted as the future of South African cricket.
In his younger days he played for Carrickfergus Cricket Club as a professional. De Villiers became the second youngest and second fastest South African to reach 1000 test runs after Graeme Pollock. In his test career so far de Villiers has batted, bowled and kept wicket as well. He is a naturally born sportsman and has talents in golf (playing off scratch despite playing infrequently), rugby, cricket and tennis. However, he chose to pursue a career in cricket and, after a spell in the South Africa U19 team, he made his debut for the Titans in 2003/4.
He made his test debut as a 20 year old on 16th December 2004 against England at Port Elizabeth. He made an impression opening the batting, but was dropped down the order for the second test and also handed the wicket-keeping gloves. In this match, he made a match saving half century from number seven. However, he found himself at the top of the order again for the final test of the series and has played the majority of his tests there. Since then he has not missed a Test match and has also batted down the order in some tests leading to speculation that he may possibly take the place of Mark Boucher as the wicket-keeper/batsman when Boucher retires. Despite a good tour of the Caribbean where he scored 178 to seal the series, his rapid progress was halted on the tour of Australia in 2005. Despite playing Shane Warne well, he struggled and made just 152 runs in 6 innings. Although he currently only holds a mediocre test record, de Villiers holds the record for scoring most Test runs without getting out for a duck.
He is used in a similar fashion to Jonty Rhodes in ODIs. He opens the batting in and the 2005 ODI tour to India represented a 'coming of age' for de Villiers as a cricketer as he scored his second ODI 50 24th October, 2006 batting 5th in a partnership with Mark Boucher, playing against an impressive Sri Lankan side. De Villiers gave the selectors a sign by producing his then highest one-day score of 92 not out including 12 fours and one six from 98 balls against India in the 2006 winter series.
De Villiers has a reputation as an outstanding fielder, typified by a sensational diving run-out of Simon Katich of Australia in 2005. This has also led people to further comparisons of him to Jonty Rhodes as he was also one of the finest fielders of his generation.