There is barely a better sight in world cricket than watching AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli batting in full pomp together. The duo enjoys each other’s company and have a very good mutual understanding while forging a partnership for their IPL franchise – Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In the Indian Premier League, De Villiers and Virat have been batting together since 2011 and have broken quite a few records. They have shared two 200-run partnerships in the IPL thus far – most by any batting pair to own such a record in Twenty20 cricket.
On Wednesday (July 1), the South African batting legend opened up about his rapport with Kohli, saying they make a ‘nice combination’ because of their contrasting styles.
“We take on different bowlers. I personally like to attack a little earlier, not to show weakness early on. I am earlier to the trigger. I want the bowlers to feel early on that it will be trouble if I’m allowed to bat for 5 overs,” De Villiers told Harsha Bhogle on a Cricbuzz in Conversation episode.
“Virat is a more reliable batsman. He’s the one you want to bat for 15 overs. I am better in a way I could change the game quicker, have an injection that could swing the game. So together we are a nice combo,” he added.
De Villiers further spoke about what they have learnt from each other, revealing that Kohli picked up the nuances of pull and hook shots from him while he picked up techniques on playing spin bowling from the Indian great.
“You need to extend your arms with the short ball. It’s a difficult one for the mind to understand. The quicker the bowler is, the more you think you need more time, you need to pull in. But you actually need to (extend your arms and) fetch it. It becomes a lot easier to control it. That’s what I think Virat got right in the last few years. He extends his arms and then rolls his wrists to keep it down,” De Villiers remarked.