Brian Lara and Matthew Hayden hail AB de Villiers for his heroics in IPL 2021 opener

Brian Lara and Matthew Hayden hail AB de Villiers for his heroics in IPL 2021 opener

Despite retiring from international cricket, AB de Villiers hit the ground running in the first match of IPL.

Matthew Hayden, Brian Lara, and AB de Villiers
Matthew Hayden, Brian Lara, and AB de Villiers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Legendary batsmen Brian Lara and Matthew Hayden have lavished praise on AB de Villiers after the latter starred for Royal Challengers Bangalore in their win over Mumbai Indians on Friday (April 9). The Bangalore-based outfit started their campaign with a thrilling two-wicket win over the defending champions.

De Villiers made the difference with the bat for RCB, slamming a match-winning 48 off just 27 balls. Chasing 160, RCB found themselves in a tough spot after Mumbai Indians ended the 52-run stand between Glenn Maxwell (39 off 28) and Virat Kohli (33 off 29). With the pitch getting tougher to bat on, they needed 54 runs off the final over.

But before Mumbai Indians could tighten their grip on the game, de Villiers took the onus on himself to guide his team over the line. He took the bowlers to the cleaners and slammed 4 boundaries and 2 sixes during his knock. He was dismissed on the fourth ball of the final over when RCB needed two runs. Fortunately, his dismissal did not hurt RCB as they went on to win the game in a thrilling manner.

Absolutely remarkable performance from ABD: Hayden

With AB de Villiers hitting the ground running in IPL, Lara and Hayden have heaped praise on him.  Speaking during the post-match show on Star Sports, the legendary cricketers hailed him as “timeless”. Lara pointed how de Villiers controlled the game for his side and took them over the finishing line with his display. Hayden, on the other hand, stated that de Villiers knew when to hold back and when to attack.

“He is timeless. He has got the experience. IPL is the only form of cricket he is playing at the moment. I suppose he is keeping fit and ready for it. At this stage, when they lost Virat Kohli, RCB needed him to come good. He was explosive at the right time; he controlled the game. He came in after Glenn Maxwell as well; he controlled the game and got them home,” said Lara as quoted by HT.

“Absolutely remarkable performance from ABD. No question. He had that presence of mind, just knowing when to go and when to hold back. But that most important thing is that rotation of strike that we saw and the clean striking of the ball,” said Hayden.