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WatchingAB de Villiers bat and take a game away from the opposition can make different people think about different things. Some might enjoy it and wonder about the spectrum of shots that the South African puts on display while some might thank their stars that they don’t have to bowl at him and the spectators can just enjoy the unbridled entertainment.
Watching from the non-strikers end, Moises Henriques who had the best seat to watch the ‘de Villiers show’ sympathised with the opposition’s bowlers and wondered what he would do had he to bowl at the batter.
While speaking to iplt20.com after the match he said, “I was actually thinking, where the hell would you bowl to AB de Villiers” after the superb win. The all-rounder who contributed a 13-ball 27 in the unbroken 68 run partnership was happy about his team’s victory in the closely fought game but did not hold back praise while talking about PWI opener Robin Uthappa’s 45-ball 75 either.
Excerpts from the interview with Henriques:
On getting an away win under the belt after so much being talked about it
Oh have they? I haven’t noticed anything (laughs!). Yes well it is always good to get any win. I think was is our third straight game on the road now on this little trip so it was nice to get that win under the belt.
On AB de Villiers’ 50 off 23 balls with six boundaries and two sixes
It was pretty special. We have a bowlers meeting before the game where we talk about the opposition batsmen and where to bowl to them and I was actually thinking, ‘where the hell would you bowl to AB de Villiers’ because he hits the ball everywhere or anywhere, to all parts of the field so I was feeling for the bowler there because I wasn’t sure what I would do myself.
On contributing with the bat and working on his batting
I got a couple of lucky shots away early and then hit a couple of nice ones in the end. But yes it is good to come out to bat when you have someone as experienced as AB at the other end and we ran more between the wickets as well and the balls that we didn’t hit boundaries off, we were coming hard for ones or twos as well.
On the way Robin Uthappa batted and whether they thought that he could turn the tables on them
Well that is the key isn’t it? To have one of the guys from the top four going on to make a big score and Robin batted really well. To go out there and bat the way he did, he probably deserved a big scorer than he did because I thought he batted wonderfully. Luckily he got out there in the end and it was a good result for us.
On whether the wicket had changed as the game progressed or whether they had decided to settle down and then go for runs
Any team with Chris Gayle at the top, certainly would not plan to start slow. You obviously want to put bowlers under pressure right from the word go. I am not sure how the wicket played early but we got off to a slow start but we had wickets in hand and did not panic. And Saurabh (Tiwary) batted beautifully to the conditions at the top. That set a really good platform for us, down the order to come in and bat with freedom.
On his bowling
There wasn’t much pace in the wicket for the fast bowlers or any bounce so you had to be quite disciplined with your length. I missed my length a couple of times and I had to pay the price. I thought couple of the other bowlers bowled really well on Thursday and kept us in the game.
On whether he considers himself a bowling all-rounder or batting all-rounder
It depends on what I do better on the night, Thursday I might be the batting all-rounder but in the last game I probably was the bowling all-rounder. I just go with the flow and see how things progress. I make sure I am working on both during training, as hard as I possibly can.