Test land­mark for de Vil­liers

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

CAPE TOWN — One ad­di­tional strong rea­son for South Africa to seek re­venge in the se­cond Test against In­dia in Ban­ga­lore from Satur­day will be the oc­ca­sion of AB de Vil­liers’ ( pic­tured) 100th game for the Proteas – the sev­enth player from our shores to reach the land­mark.

Al­though no stranger to that city given his adored pres­ence in the ranks of In­dian Premier League out­fit Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore since sign­ing from Delhi Dare­dev­ils in 2011, the dash­ing bats­man will be play­ing his first Test (along with all his cur­rent team-mates) at the M Chin­naswamy Sta­dium.

The world Num­ber One-ranked Proteas en­ter the se­cond of four clashes 1-0 down af­ter their 108run de­feat in three days on a con­tro­ver­sial, dry sur­face at Mo­hali, where the tourists un­usu­ally could only man­age 293 runs across both in­nings.

De Vil­liers top-scored with 63 in the first, and South African will wish for much big­ger things from him and other key bats­men in Ban­ga­lore.

His 100th ap­pear­ance should aid both his and the team’s mo­ti­va­tion to strike back in a hurry; when De Vil­liers takes to the field he will be­come the 63rd player in global Test his­tory to hit the mile­stone.

Six com­pa­tri­ots have pre­vi­ously got to three fig­ures, with Jac­ques Kal­lis the SA leader — 166 Tests, for fourth place over­all be­hind In­dian leg­end Sachin Ten­dulkar (200), and Aus­tralians Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh (168 each).

The other, all-re­tired Proteas stars to fea­ture in the elite club are Mark Boucher (147 Tests), Graeme Smith (117), Shaun Pol­lock (108), and Makhaya Ntini and Gary Kirsten (101 each).

Of the South Africans al­ready in the ton-up cat­e­gory, only Kal­lis (ca­reer av­er­age 55.37) boasts a bet­ter bat­ting av­er­age than De Vil­liers, whose own stands at 51.92 af­ter his 99 Tests.

The Pre­to­ria-born Abra­ham Ben­jamin de Vil­liers, 31, is the coun­try’s 296th of­fi­cially-recorded Test cap, hav­ing earned that sta­tus when he made his de­but against Eng­land at Port El­iz­a­beth in 2004/05.

He will be the only SA player turn­ing out in the se­cond Test to boast any prior in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence of Chin­naswamy Sta­dium, hav­ing rep­re­sented the Proteas in a 2005 ODI, won by six wick­ets by In­dia; he opened the bat­ting that day with his cap­tain at the time, Smith, and was dis­missed for four.

There has been just one pre­vi­ous Test be­tween the two na­tions at the venue, back in March 2000, when Han­sie Cronje’s side thrashed the hosts by an in­nings and 71 runs to com­plete a maiden away se­ries tri­umph (2-0) over th­ese op­po­nents.

Mean­while, near­est present na­tional col­leagues to De Vil­liers for ad­mis­sion to “Club 100” are Amla (85 Test caps) and Dale Steyn (81). — Sport24

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