Full name Abraham Benjamin de Villiers
Born February 17, 1984, Pretoria
Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Delhi Daredevils, Northerns, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Titans
Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers more commonly known by his initials AB is a South African cricketer and captain of the South African One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 teams, having succeeded Graeme Smith in both roles after the 2011 Cricket World Cup. He is also part of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.He attended Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Afrikaans High School for Boys, also known as Affies), a popular and renowned public school located in Pretoria.
De Villiers is a right-handed batsman, who, in a very short space of time, has accumulated many runs in Tests including 13 centuries and 29 fifties. He still holds the record for most Test innings without registering a duck (78), before being dismissed for nought against Bangladesh in November 2008. He also holds the record for the highest individual score by a South African batsman in an innings, with 278*. He is an occasional wicketkeeper for the South African cricket team, and is commonly regarded as one of the best fielders currently in international cricket. AB de Villiers blasted the seventh fastest century in ODI cricket, in 58 balls, when he slammed an unbeaten 102 off just 59 balls against India in Ahmedabad in February 2010. He reached the top of the Test Batting rankings in March 2012.
De Villiers (who played for Carrickfergus Cricket Club in Northern Ireland as a youngster) became the second youngest and second fastest South African to reach 1000 test runs after Graeme Pollock and in his test career so far De Villiers has batted, bowled and kept wicket as well. He is a talented sportsman and has excelled in golf (playing off scratch despite playing infrequently), rugby, cricket and tennis. However, he chose to pursue a career in cricket and, after a spell in the South Africa U19 team, he made his debut for the Titans in 2003/4.
He made his test debut as a 20 year old on 16 December 2004 against England at Port Elizabeth. He made an impression opening the batting, but was dropped down the order for the second test and also handed the wicket-keeping gloves. In this match, he made a match saving half century from number seven. However, he found himself at the top of the order again for the final test of the series and has played the majority of his tests there. Since then he has not missed a Test match and has also batted down the order in some tests leading to speculation that he may possibly take the place of Mark Boucher as the wicket-keeper/batsman when Boucher retires, although de Villiers has himself expressed a preference for playing as a specialist batsman only.
Despite a good tour of the Caribbean where he scored 178 to help South Africa seal a test series win, his rapid progress was halted on the tour of Australia in 2005. Despite playing Shane Warne well, he struggled and made just 152 runs in 6 innings. De Villiers holds the record for scoring most Test runs before getting out for a duck.
He has been used in a similar fashion to Jonty Rhodes in ODIs, opening the innings, although he currently bats in the middle order. The 2005 ODI tour to India represented a ‘coming of age’ for De Villiers as a cricketer as he scored his second ODI half century on 24 October 2006, batting 5th in a partnership with Mark Boucher, playing against an impressive Sri Lankan side. De Villiers gave the selectors a sign by producing his then highest one-day score of 92 not out, which included 12 fours and one six, from 98 balls against India in the 2006 winter series.
De Villiers has a reputation as an outstanding fielder, typified by a diving run-out of Simon Katich of Australia in 2006, when he dived to stop the ball, and while still lying on his stomach facing away from the stumps, he tossed the ball backwards over his shoulder and effected a direct hit. This has also led people to make further comparisons of him to Jonty Rhodes as he was also one of the finest fielders of his generation.
In 2009 He was nominated for ICC Cricketer of the year and ICC Test Player of the year.
On June 6, 2011, New SA coach Gary Kirsten announced that AB de Villiers will be South Africa’s new limited-overs captain, at a news conference. “I’m very excited but I’m also inexperienced. But I’ve learnt a lot the last seven years from an unbelievable captain,” De Villiers, who has never captained a team at first-class level, said. “It’s a big responsibility, but there’ll be a fresh look in the side, which is good.