Indian T20 League: Will AB de Villiers continue his love-affair with Punjab?
South African batsman AB de Villiers started his Indian T20 League 2020 campaign on a bright note as he played an entertaining knock of 51 off just 30 deliveries in Bangalore's tournament opener against Hyderabad on September 22. That eventually turned out to be a match-winning innings as well, as Hyderabad fell short of Bangalore's total by a narrow margin of 10 runs.
This knock also helped him maintain his good batting record against Hyderabad -- 440 runs at an average and strike-rate of 36.67 and 167.30 -- intact. De Villiers and Bangalore will be playing their next match against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday (September 25), and if his Indian T20 League numbers against Punjab are anything to go by, there is carnage written all over on this fixture once again.
The 36-year-old has a total of 680 runs to his name in 19 innings against Punjab and 662 of those runs have come while playing for Bangalore, at a mindboggling average and strike-rate of 60.18 and 165.91 respectively.
|Most runs for Bangalore vs Punjab|
|AB de Villiers||17||662||60.18||165.91||0||7|
In fact, there is no other Bangalore batsman in the history of Indian T20 League who has amassed more runs against Punjab than de Villiers. His average of 60.18 against them is also the best among these batsmen, with his strike-rate only being the next best to Chris Gayle.
Gayle (634) is the closest to de Villiers' tally of 662 runs but he is a part of the Punjab setup now and hence, doesn't stand a chance of overtaking de Villiers. Only Virat Kohli (632) stands a chance of going past de Villiers but he has already played six innings more than the South African and still stands 30 runs short.
Moreover, four out of de Villiers' seven fifties versus Punjab have come in his last five innings against the franchise. His scores against them in the last five innings read 89*, 10, 57, 59 and 82*. That sums up how much he has enjoyed batting against the Punjab-based franchise in recent times.
As he takes the field against Punjab once again, de Villiers will be very eager to maintain his good run of form against them. The match will be played at the same venue -- Dubai International Cricket Stadium -- where Bangalore played their season opener against Hyderabad and the familiar conditions will only give de Villiers the confidence to go out and do what he does best!
Feature image courtesy: Twitter/Indian T20 League