Former South African cricketer AB de Villiers made his Big Bash League (BBL) debut for Brisbane Heat in a game against Adelaide Strikers on January 14. In his first match, the star batsman excelled with the bat by scoring a 32-ball 40 to lead a successful run-chase.
On the eve of an upcoming BBL affair, AB de Villiers revealed some of the biggest Australian rivals he has come across during his international journey. The South African superstar picked up a few retired as well as active Australian bowlers in his list. It also includes legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne.
In an interview with Cricket Australia, AB de Villiers said that as a 22-year old, he found Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath extremely intimidating during his visit ‘Down Under’ in 2006. He admitted that at the time, he was still finding his feet in international cricket and was unsure about his batting technique.
He said it was quite tough for him to face those bowlers as a youngster. Notably, both Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath dismissed AB de Villiers a few times in that 2005/06 Test series.
Apart from Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, AB de Villiers also named Australian pacers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood as some of the best bowlers he has ever faced. He went on to compare Josh Hazlewood with McGrath because of their similar heights and ability to generate pace off the deck. He also had words of admiration for Pat Cummins as the South African described the pacer as an “incredible athlete” and a “competitor”.
AB de Villiers made his way into the middle for Brisbane Heat against Adelaide Strikers on January 14. He took two catches on the field and scored 40 (32 balls) in a successful run-chase for the home side. Since then, ABD played two matches for Brisbane Heat but failed to make any impact with the bat. Brisbane Heat are currently placed sixth on the BBL points table and will now face Sydney Sixers at The Gabba on January 23.