BENGALURU: Abraham Benjamin de Villiers walked in to a thunderous applause and as he walked off after 85 glorious runs, the crowd gave him a similar sendoff.
Unlucky to miss a century in his 100th Test, it wasn’t clear how he felt after the ovation. But his parents might have been taken aback. AB de Villiers senior and wife Millie were in the stands to watch their son achieve the milestone of 100 Tests.
“I was surprised hearing the chants ABD, ABD. I thought they were moaning when AB got out. We all know that Bengaluru is AB’s second home, given that he has been playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore for such a long time. I hope he learns an Indian language,” said AB senior.
The dashing batsman was a bit nervous and tentative initially. But as he stayed on, he grew in confidence despite losing partners, treated his fans with some wonderful batting. He was not afraid to use his feet and was equal to what Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had to offer. A flowing on-drive off Ashwin and a square drive off Jadeja signalled his intent. Another cracking square drive, this time off Ashwin, meant he was in full flow and when Varun Aaron dropped one short in the next over, he slammed him to point for another glorious four.
“He was good at golf when he was young. When I saw his swing, I dreamt that my son would become Ernie Ells one day. He was a good tennis player too,” said the proud father. “But we started realising that he was not cut out for individual sport as he loved being around people and in a team. And he is not as calm as he looks on the field,” added the mother.
Asked about them wanting their son to get a medical degree, De Villiers senior smiled. “We’re a family of academicians and I’d be happy if he gets a degree some time. But I’m absolutely happy with what he has achieved in his career.”