AB de Villiers showed India the way to deal with Australia’s pace attack ahead of their tour Down Under by flaying Pat Cummins in Monday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match, prompting his Bangalore captain Virat Kohli to dub him ‘superman’.
De Villiers smashed a whirlwind 73 not out from 33 balls to set up Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 82-run romp against Kolkata Knight Riders and Cummins could not escape the mayhem.
Australia’s pace spearhead had given away 19 runs in his first three overs but finished 4-0-38-0 after de Villiers smacked two sixes and a four in the 17th over of the Bangalore innings.
“Barring one superhuman, every batsman struggled on the pitch,” India captain Kohli, who will take his team to Australia for a full series later this year, said of de Villiers after the match in Sharjah.
“Only AB can do what he did. It was a fabulous knock. We were looking at 160-165, and it was only thanks to his genius we got to 194.
“I was happy we could string together a partnership, and mine was the best seat to watch from,” said Kohli, who was content playing second fiddle to the South African with an unbeaten 33.
Bangalore are now third in the points table, behind defending champions Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.
Delhi’s injury woes continue to mount with pace bowler Ishant Sharma ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a muscle injury.
Delhi have already lost veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra through a finger injury, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is also out of action for a week with a hamstring niggle.
Bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab received a boost with opener Chris Gayle declared fit for Thursday’s match against Bangalore after being hospitalised with a stomach bug.