Barca Nepal. AB de Villiers had a great year as he scored 1193 ODI runs at an astounding average of 79.53 this year. Even though he struggled in the Test series against India, he has an impressive average of 50.75 in Tests this year to go with it. But with AB de Villiers, it is not just about the runs he scores. It is also about the way he scores them.
Elegant, stylish and a jaw-dropping maverick, one runs out of adjectives while trying to describe him. He has made unorthodoxy his norm and scoring runs his passion.His outrageous skill has often elicited comparisons with Lionel Messi, a footballer who is perhaps in the form of his life and the faourite to win the Ballon dOr for his performances this year.Let us make a close comparison between these two giants of the game and look at 5 reasons why AB de Villiers can be called the Lionel Messi of cricket.
1 Both are simply magical
On the best of occasions, AB de Villiers can boast of a degree of finesse that very few mortals are capable of achieving. Some of his skills are just other-worldly which can make even the most devout cricket fan shaking his head in disbelief.
Just like Messi, de Villiers has been termed as a superhuman or an alien because of his incredible powers. Remember how Messi embarrassed Jerome Boateng and chipped Manuel Neuer for what seemed to be an impossible goal in the Champions League last year? He left the entire Bayern defence looking foolish in a matter of minutes.
And now, just think of the outrageous reverse sweeps and dinks over the keeper’s head that AB de Villiers can come up with even when Dale Steyn, one of the best fast bowlers in the world, is steaming in. You just have to sit back, admire and quietly admit that it is pure magic.
2 Can destroy the opposition single-handedly
It is widely known that Messi can single-handedly destroy oppositions when he is on song. A good example would be the return leg against Arsenal in 2010 where Messi was the destroyer-in-chief as he scored four exquisite goals past a hapless Gunners defence.
Just like Messi, AB de Villiers can be the smiling assassin as his blitzkrieg has single-handedly destroyed the opposition on quite a few occasions. Remember the occasion when he hit his compatriot Steyn all over the park and won the match on his own?
His innings of 149 off 44 balls against the Windies this year was other-worldly to say the least. It’s not for no reason that he has the records of scoring the fastest ODI 50, 100 and 150 to his credit.
3 They are loved everywhere
Whenever AB de Villiers walked into bat in the Test series against India, the crowd went crazy chanting his name. The euphoria was strange considering the fact that he was the best batsman of the opposition. But that also proved how much he was loved by the people.
Not since Sachin Tendulkar has there been a batsman who has been so universally loved and admired. You know that AB de Villiers can finish you if he is in the opposition team but you still cannot hate him.
And that is where the comparison with Lionel Messi comes in. Messi along with Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world right now. But while Ronaldo has his fair share of haters, the same cannot be said about Messi. While it is true that Real Madrid fans hate him, that is more because he plays for Barcelona than anything else.
You may or may not be a Messi fan, but you can’t help admiring him!
4 They defy the laws of physics
Once in a while, there comes a sportsman who defies the laws of physics. In our lifetime, we are blessed with having seen two such geniuses for whom such laws are irrelevant to the point they can achieve the impossible.
Just watch when Lionel Messi runs with the ball. The ball seems to be glued to his feet by magnetic force, he can run and dribble at equal pace and the swerve on his free-kicks is almost impossible to believe. The kind of stuff that leaves Camp Nou gasping in disbelief.
Now cut to AB de Villers. He has impossibly quick hands and can open up incredible angles with his shots. If the ball is outside the off-stump, trust ABD to still sweep you over square leg. His balance, quick feet and awesome power allow him to hit the ball to any part of the ground.
5 They have failed to win any major tournament for their countries
When you are as good as Lionel Messi, you expect to win everything. And he has bagged possibly every title and cup that club football can offer. But with his country, it has been a completely different story.
One common allegation against Messi is that he has not been able to replicate his same form for the Albiceleste. Things seemed to be poised for a change in the 2014 FIFA World Cup as Messi was in sublime form. But he could not drag Argentina over the line in the final.
The now famous photograph of a wide-eyed Messi looking at the World Cup trophy as he walks past it can be easily compared with a teary AB de Villiers captured after losing the World Cup 2015 semi-final. Like Messi, ABD has failed to inspire his country to win a major tournament for his country via: sportskeeda