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AB de Villiers hails Ben Stokes as a fantastic cricketer, says IPL lifted his game

AB noted that playing in the Indian Premier League has helped him improve his game even more.

AB de Villiers
South Africa’s captain AB de Villiers. (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

South African cricketer AB de Villiers has been one of the most dominating cricketers in the modern day cricket. The South African batting mainstay is hitting the straps hard to help his side win the ICC Champions Trophy this year. South Africa have not tasted much success in the ICC events in the recent times and that is something that AB wants to improve on.

The team will be playing a short 3-match ODI series against England before playing the ICC mega event. The ODI series commences on May 24. In a conversation with Dailymail, AB de Villiers spoke about one of the players from the opposition who has emerged out as a power performer. He showered praises on English all-rounder Ben Stokes. AB noted that playing in the Indian Premier League has helped him improve his game even more.

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He noted that even other players like Imran Tahir has shown great improvement after their stint in the IPL this year. AB certainly looked happy with the way the players have been benefitting from playing in the T20 league.

“Stokes is a fantastic cricketer, with both bat and ball. He’s definitely got something special about him. A lot of guys lose their way in the IPL, and others find the next level in their game. Ben Stokes definitely lifted his game and I think it would have done him the world of good. But a few of our players who played over there lifted their game. I faced (leg-spinner) Imran Tahir in the nets and he’s certainly stepped his game up a bit, and come up with a few new deliveries, and so has everyone else who was there,” quoted AB de Villiers.

Word of appreciation for England

AB de Villiers also had a special word of appreciation for the England team. He noted that the team has improved a great deal ever since their embarrassing 2015 World Cup exit. England have come up as a much improved and healthy unit since then. Adding further, he said his priority at the moment is to beat England in the ODI series and then shift the focus to the Champions Trophy.

“I remember thinking in 2015 they had hit rock bottom. The way they came back from that earned a lot of respect around the world,” quoted the South African batsman.

“I haven’t won one of these trophies in my career, so I’m pretty desperate to win one, and we’ll do anything we can to get out on top. We know these tournaments are very competitive — there are eight teams that want to win it and can win it but we do think we’ve got a very good squad here. I’ve got a good feeling about this one. But first things first, we want to win the series against England,” he added further.

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