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Shirin Sadikot in Bengaluru 17 April 2013 - 02:48am IST

Even with nerves of steel AB hates Super Overs!

Game finisher determined to win games more comfortably in future

Whoever said that the Royal Challengers Bangalore team is a one-man army, over-dependent on the Jamaican giant named Chris Gayle, clearly hasn’t seen Abraham Benjamin de Villiers bat.

It’s not easy to regularly be in the limelight when you have a rampaging Gayle batting before you. But, this versatile wonder-boy has become the favourite of the masses in Bangalore by winning games from high-octane situations with the bat.

One such triumph came at home against the Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday night. After a mini batting collapse resulted in RCB ending a winnable match into a tie against the Delhi Daredevils, de Villiers took charge to smack two sixes in the Super Over, thus setting up a swashbuckling win under pressure for RCB. That, after a 32-ball cameo which resulted in 39 runs.

Such is the magic of de Villiers’ willow that it made RCB’s team owner, Vijay Mallya, gasp with joy, “He’s the best. Yes, he does often threaten to give me a heart attack with those unbelievable shots he plays. But he is the best.”

We caught up with an elated de Villiers immediately after RCB’s stunning win. And while the world was in awe of his batting abilities, de Villiers, like a true champion, stressed on the importance of not taking games to the edge of the cliff in the future and took the responsibility to give RCB more convincing wins.

What’s with the RCB and the Super Overs?

I personally have to take a bit of responsibility for that. My run-out started a big collapse and that was unfortunate. In saying that, we have got two points and I am delighted for the team. This win means a lot to us and we find ourselves in a strong position now, having won four out of six games.

What is it like to be batting out there, knowing the team’s faith depends on what you do in those six balls?

It might be entertaining for the viewers but I tell you, it’s not very enjoyable when you’re out there with so much pressure and only six balls. I was very happy to see the last two balls sail over the boundary, which got us into a good position to win the game.

How do the opposition team get past the RCB batting? If they get rid of Chris Gayle, they have AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli to counter!

We do have some serious batting firepower upfront and hence we should have finished this game in the 20 overs itself. The fact that we collapsed a bit, tells a bad story about our batting line-up. But we’ll fight back and in the next game will come through more convincingly.

RCB lost to CSK in the last ball and also came second in the Super Over against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. But does this win show that the team is learning to handle such pressure?

That’s the positive that we will take out of this match – the fact that we won a pressure game. There were a lot of negatives in the way we batted out there but the fact that we pulled through it, means a lot to us all.

There is a notion, especially in the last season that RCB is over-dependent on Chris Gayle. As senior batsmen of the team, did you and Virat Kohli make a conscious effort to change that?

Yes, Chris is a fantastic player but one guy cannot perform in every game. Myself, Virat and a few other batsmen in the team understand that we will have to win some games for the team as well. We have a lot of experience in our batting line-up and it’s time that we start to take control of the games.

Is RCB’s strengthened bowling attack helping the batsmen?

Definitely! It’s a big psychological advantage. Mentally we batsmen know that we have a strong bowling attack that has our back. The bowlers have proved that they can win us games by defending not very big totals and restricting the other team to gettable targets.

Should we look out for any new outrageous shots from AB de Villiers this season?

Always! My boss (Dr. Vijay Mallya, the owner of RCB) is not happy with my funny shots that I play. But more often than not they come off and I have the confidence in my abilities, so I will keep playing them.

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