AB de Villiers is known for his swashbuckling batting, but in the 2016 home series against England, opposition fast bowler Stuart Broad had his number. De Villiers only managed 210 runs in four Tests, which Proteas lost 1-2.
However in the ODI series, De Villiers knew he had to get back at Broad in one way or another, and he did it in style. Recalling the series in the Super Over podcast, de Villiers conceded Broad was 'completely over' him.
"It’s right when you say it, and Broad was completely over me in that Test series couple of weeks prior to the ODIs. I was definitely feeling pressure from his side, he was bowling with amazing skill throughout the series. He had me jumping all over the place, he was actually on top of me. I had to do something. I decided in the ODI series that I’m not going to allow that to happen," he said.
De Villiers made 218 runs from five ODIs at an average of 72.67, with one half-century and one century, as South Africa won the series 3-2.
JP Duminy joined the podcast and recalled how De Villiers pummeled Broad in Johannesburg when Proteas were 63/3 chasing 263 when Duminy joined De Villiers at the crease.
"We were playing against England at the Wanderers. And Stuart Broad was bowling and I was defending, just trying to get the partnership going. AB walks in, double steps him, and hits him straight over his head, like, in the first few balls, and I am like, ‘Jeepers, OK!’ And we come together, and I was like, ‘Yo, Abraham! What happened there?,” Duminy said.
"He’s like, ‘No! Need to make sure I am letting him know that I am here.’ You talk about belief, we were speaking about Virat Kohli, and I think that was the difference. He certainly had this ability to transfer pressure in an amazing way and be consistent with it because a lot of us will try and do it. But the word he mentioned there was a commitment, that in those moments when he made decisions, there was no holding back - sweeping somebody or coming down the wicket, that commitment was fully there,” he added.
De Villiers made 36 in 27 balls before being run out, but Duminy led the team to a thrilling one-wicket win.
"Amazing fightback from JP and I, we got it back there. Fifty partnership … and then he ran me out! You remember that? Chris Woakes rolled it right back at Woakes, and he’s like, ‘Yeah’. He’s halfway down the wicket, I am like ‘OK’. I am fifty off 25 balls, I am seeing the ball like a balloon… at least we won that game,” De Villiers recalls.
"I was trying to get the limelight dude. He’s been getting the limelight for years, come on man,” Duminy said in jest.