Former South African player and one of the best modern-day cricketers that the world has seen, AB de Villiers has rated his last Test hundred at Port Elizabeth against Australia as the best one he scored at the highest level.
De Villiers, who announced his retirement from International Cricket at the end of the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League this year, amassed 22 centuries in 114 Tests and 25 in his 228 ODIs for South Africa but he rates the one, that finally helped Proteas beat Australia in a home Test series since the 1960's, as his absolute best and most satisfying for him.
“I think my most memorable knocks have always been in the longer version of the game, Test cricket, and none better than that last hundred that I scored in PE (Port Elizabeth) against the Australians,” De Villiers was quoted saying on The Daily Telegraph, “That was the most enjoyable series in my life. I had doubts that I would come back, I always wanted to just come and play for another season or two."
“I wasn’t 100 percent sure that I’m going to finish after the Australian series, but the plan was to come back, and I’m really proud of the fact that I could come back and played two of my best series for my country.”
De Villiers played for 14 years for his country and he is proud of what he achieved having played with immense passion and love for the game.
He said, “I’ve had that from a very young age, and I don’t think it’s something you can teach a youngster – it’s just a deep desire and a hunger and a love for something that you’re never going to give up, So I was always going to try as much as I can, as hard as I could, to become the best player in the world.”
De Villiers is one of the few players who excelled in all conditions and formats and he has a very simple advice for those who aspire to be like him.
“I base my plan on the same fundamentals and the same basics in all three of the formats that I play in. I’ve never changed that. The only thing that changes is my mindset a little bit at times. I’ve always kept it very simple. I’m a big believer that basics stay the same for all the formats. I don’t overthink things." he said and added, "I want my mind to be 100 per cent clear so I try not to think about too many things. I’ll have a bit of a pre-ball routine. I’ll make my mark, and then once I switch on and the bowler’s coming in, I try and think of absolutely nothing."
“I try and make sure that I see the ball coming out of the bowler’s hands, and then my technique and my body take over. I clear my mind and see the ball out of the bowler’s hand – that’s all I think about in all three of the formats.” he concluded.