image courtesy- Game Plan
The man who debuted in 2004 with hardly anyone knowing about his background or where he came from. The man who was 20yrs old when he entered the African national team in 2004 and was for long termed as a player who is just a rookie trying to imitate Jacques Kallis’s batting stance.
He took everything in his stride, the first few years he merely gave his best just to stay in the playing XI but who knew by the end of his career he would go on to become one of the best run getters of South Africa. He went on to improve in every match leaps and bounds. Soon people started to come to know that he is not only a talented batsman but one of the fittest athletes and fielders. A stunning fielder who can take breathtaking catches and initiate run outs. Eventually people realized that he was not only a good cricketer but also a champion in many other sports. He was not just a clone of kallis, he proved it with his perfomance and not words.
And then comes 2018- where he completes 14yrs of successful International cricket. A career which lasted one and a half decade with 114Tests, 228ODI’s and 78 T20’s with close to 20,000 International runs, 109 half centuries and 47 International Hundreds! Yes these are the records he achieved in a span of his illustrious career as he became a batting mainstay of the African team in the last half of his career. South Africa team was at one point just incomplete without ABD and he kept on enthralling fans with some mind boggling performances over the years.
In IPL he showed that a cricket ground is just not meant for straight drives and cover drives but he started the new age batting trend of 360degree hitting. Smashing some lethal boundaries and sixes in the most amazing fashion and covering every corner of the ground with pure disdain and authority. He was a mass run scorer for RCB standing on par with Kohli and responsible to make his franchise win matches single handedly with his breath taking batting and acrobatic fielding.
ABD became a household name as his career progressed and what’s more, he further won hearts around the world after scoring the fastest ODI ton in mere 31balls breaking Afridi’s 2decade old record and Corey Anderson’s just newly made record of 36balls. In that match he was out on 149 off 44balls falling short of just one run on what could have been the permanent fastest 150 in ODI’s. He played some innings which were literally unheard of or hard to believe. That was not all, he also later scored another innings which catapulated him to the status of untouched legends of modern day cricket where he scored a 62ball 166*where he scored the fastest 150 in ODI’s too!
We can just keep going on and on about this guy as has left behind just too many performances for us to remember. ABD leaves on a high, ABD leaves cricket at his peak and that’s not a bad decision at the age of 34 where eventually you are told to resign once you start under-performing even once. ABD will always be remembered for his humility, his sportsman spirit, his magical batting & obviously the records and legacy he leaves behind as an International cricketer.
Editor Haineel Shah