The form of Virat Kohli is being debated for a long time now, and it would be interesting to see how the right-handed batter goes about his business in the upcoming Asia Cup, after getting the much-needed break. Everyone knows what sort of friendship Kohli shares with former South Africa great AB de Villiers. The duo formed a formidable partnership while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. In an interview with NDTV, de Villiers spoke about the form of Virat Kohli, the impact of growing T20 leagues on international cricket, how he aims to help the underprivileged children in India and much more.
Kohli had last registered a ton in 2019, and since then the three-figure mark has eluded him. However, de Villiers says Virat remains world-class and he is one of the greatest to ever play the game.
“Virat is one of the greatest cricketers ever to play the game. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Virat remains world-class. Virat and I remain in regular contact. We are friends, and he certainly does not need me to tell him the importance of working hard during a bad patch,” de Villiers told NDTV.
In July this year, England Test captain Ben Stokes had retired from ODIs. Ever since then, the future of international cricket is being talked about. The former South Africa batter says that it is clear that T20 cricket will continue to grow at the expense of other formats.
“It seems clear that T20 cricket will continue to grow and grow, inevitably at the expense of other formats,” he said. When asked whether tri-series can help ODI cricket, de Villiers said: “I think the impact would be minimal.”
“There will always be space for international cricket, so long as it generates revenue for the game, and it certainly does that now. There is, however, no doubt that global franchises will play a major role in the evolution of the game,” he added.
Recently, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting spoke about Suryakumar Yadav and he said that the India batter reminds him of de Villiers. Talking about the comparisons, de Villiers said: “He looks a fine player, and I will enjoy watching him bat. Every player should have the opportunity to be themselves.”
When asked about his association with RCB, de Villiers said: “I have been privileged to be associated with RCB for many years, and remain in close contact with the franchise. I am looking forward to being inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame at some stage during the 2023 IPL – that will be a great honour.”
Of late, South Africa have showed how formidable they are. AB de Villiers said that the Proteas have a strong chance of winning the T20 World Cup in Australia. Earlier this year, South Africa brought India close in the home T20I series, and they won the T20I series against England.
“The Proteas have a strong team and they have as a good a chance as any team of winning the tournament in Australia. The challenge in T20 cricket is always to generate some winning momentum,” said de Villiers.
Speaking about England’s approach in Tests, famous as ‘Bazball’, de Villiers said: “Brendon McCullum is an innovator, and England’s approach to Test cricket in recent months has certainly generated interest in the game. That said, playing conditions will always affect how you can play. While it may be possible to attack on relatively flat wickets, it may be more difficult when the ball is moving around.”
AB de Villiers has always stood up to help those in need. In a latest, the cricketer had partnered up with Make a Difference (MAD), an NGO to volunteer his time in mentoring the underprivileged children.
Speaking about the same, he said: “I will be happy. That will be worthwhile. Of course, we plan to have a positive impact on many, many lives, but each one matters.”
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