“Virat remains world class, one of the best cricketers ever”: AB de Villiers to NDTV

Virat Kohli’s form has been debated for quite some time and it would be interesting to see how the right-handed batter does his business in the upcoming Asian Cup, after getting some much-needed break. Everyone knows what kind of friendship Kohli shares with former South African great AB de Villiers. The duo formed a formidable partnership while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. In an interview with NDTV, de Villiers spoke about Virat Kohli’s form, the impact of growing T20 competitions on international cricket, how he aims to help the underprivileged children in India and much more.

Kohli last registered a ton in 2019 and the three-digit mark has eluded him ever since. However, De Villiers says Virat remains world class and that he is one of the best the game has ever played.

“Virat is one of the best cricketers who has ever played the game. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Virat remains world class. Virat and I are in regular contact. We are friends and he certainly doesn’t need me to tell him importance of working hard during a bad period,” de Villiers told NDTV.

By July of this year, English test captain Ben Stokes had withdrawn from ODIs. Since then, there has been talk of the future of international cricket. The former South African batsman says it is clear that T20 cricket will continue to grow at the expense of other formats.

“It seems clear that T20 cricket will continue to grow and grow, inevitably at the expense of other formats,” he said. When asked if tri-series could help ODI cricket, de Villiers said: “I think the impact would be minimal.”

“There will always be room for international cricket as long as it generates revenue for the game, and it certainly does now. There is no doubt, however, that global franchises will play a big part in the game’s evolution.” he added.

Recently, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting spoke of Suryakumar Yadav and said the batter from India reminds him of de Villiers. Speaking of the comparisons, De Villiers said: “He looks like a great player and I will enjoy watching him hit. Every player should be given the opportunity to be themselves.”

When asked about his association with RCB, de Villiers said: “I have been privileged to be associated with RCB over many years and remain in close contact with the franchise. I look forward to being in the franchise in some way. To be inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame podium at the 2023 IPL – that will be a great honor.”

South Africa has recently shown how formidable they are. AB de Villiers said the Proteas have a good chance of winning the T20 World Cup in Australia. Earlier this year, South Africa brought India close in the home T20I series, winning the T20I series against England.

“The Proteas have a strong team and they have as good a chance as any other team to win the tournament in Australia. The challenge in T20 cricket is always to generate some winning momentum,” said de Villiers.

Speaking about England’s approach to Tests, known as ‘Bazball’, de Villiers said: “Brendon McCullum is an innovator and England’s approach to Test cricket in recent months has certainly sparked interest in the game. That said, the playing conditions always affect how you can play. While it is possible to attack on relatively flat wickets, it can be more difficult if the ball moves.”

AB de Villiers has always stood up to help those in need. In the latter case, the cricketer had partnered with Make a Difference (MAD), an NGO to voluntarily devote his time to mentoring underprivileged children.

Speaking of the same, he said, “I’ll be happy. That’ll be worth it. Sure, we plan to have a positive impact on many, many lives, but each one is important.”

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