Ab De Villier bats in the nets during a practice session. Courtesy: Twitter
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star batsman AB De Villiers heaped praised on captain Virat Kohli for always leading from the front.
RCB players are undergoing tough drills ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), which gets under way in the UAE on Sept.13.
“We are also very happy to be here. We got the clarity about the IPL taking place about a month ago from RCB and obviously BCCI did some fantastic work to get everything approved,” said De Villiers on RCB’s Bold Diaries, posted by the team on their Twitter account.
The South African contingent joined RCB camp after the team had arrived. Pacers Dale Steyn and Chris Morris of South Africa along with former captain De Villiers are likely to feature in all their games.
Director cricket operations at RCB Mike Hesson, without naming any one in particular, had earlier dropped the hint that the inclusion of the Morris provided the team a potent bowling attack, especially in the death overs.
“They have done a commendable work to get the IPL going and we are all very excited. It is great to be here. I am feeling better than ever. We have worked so hard, we have a good work ethic, it really feels like everyone has bought into this hard-working environment,” he continued.
“The credit goes to Virat. He leads by example, he sets new standard. It is pretty easy to follow when you have a captain, who is always leading from the front. His influence has been fantastic and I am looking forward to see the final product of this hard work,” explained the former South African captain.
Commenting on coming back after a long lay-off due to pandemic out break, which brought all the sporting action to a grinding halt across the globe, he said: “It is natural to get breaks in the sports, sometimes the schedule allows a period of no cricket for two months or more.
“Sometimes injuries happen and you are out for five or six months, when you are in the best form of your life. I know that feeling of coming back from a big break very well.
“The feeling of uncertainty and doubts, ‘will I be able to reach that level again?’ It is normal to have a feeling like that. It’s amazing how you can get back into the groove and find that confidence into yourself, nothing guarantees a good performance, but that’s the beauty of the sport, you never know what to expect,” he stressed.
When asked about the squad, he said: “It is a tricky question. Every season, we say that this is the best team. I won’t say that ‘this is the best team.’ But believe me, this time around, it is a different feel to the team. We are excited and we have many back up plans for every spot and have many options as well,” said the one of the most feared batsmen of modern era.
“The coach has options, Virat has many of them to really fine the best XI in the tournament. It is not like that AB is going to play every game. There are options in every department, batting, bowling and fielding. You name it and we have it,” added the swashbuckling batsman.
Despite having a star-studded team, RCB have never won an IPL title though they made it to the final three times to end up as losers.
He also lauded support staff for their help in the preparation for the cricketing spectacle.
“They are doing a commendable job. Be it the trainers, the net bowlers or any one. I think they should be lauded for their hard work in the team’s preparation for cricket’s biggest extravaganza,” he concluded.
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