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Kerala in-form batsman Vishnu Vinod recalls the success mantra that AB de Villiers gave him

AB's advice has helped Vishnu in the subsequent journey of his career.

Vishnu Vinod and AB de Villiers
Vishnu Vinod and AB de Villiers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

AB de Villiers might have quit international cricket almost a year and a half ago but he continues to rule his fans’ hearts, even those who play the game. One among them is Vishnu Vinod, a wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala who made his first-class only a few seasons ago.

Recently, the 25-year-old right-hand batsman slammed 139 off just 89 balls for his state against Andhra in Vijay Hazare Trophy — his third — in Bengaluru. Vishnu slammed nine sixes and 13 fours in his knock. And one cricketer who has played a key role behind Vishnu’s transformation as a batsman is the former South Africa batting legend.

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Vishnu has spent time with De Villiers during his stint at the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). According to a report in Times of India, the youngster was batting with De Villiers in an IPL game in the 2017 season when he tried to match his senior partner’s batting prowess. However, after it did not come off, it was De Villiers who walked up to Vishnu and asked him to gently breathe in and out as that would help him feel better and give clear thinking.

Vishnu’s batting has transformed after ABD’s small mantra

It indeed has helped Vishnu in the subsequent journey of his career. Last year, he scored his career-best 193 not out in the first-class game against Madhya Pradesh in Ranji Trophy. He already has scored three List-A hundreds in this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy besides that big first-class knock.

Opening the batting for his state, Vishnu has scored 508 runs from just eight matches at a strike rate of 114. Though the effort still could not take Kerala into the knock-outs, Vishnu impressed all by belting 29 sixes. In fact, Vishnu has now the record of hitting most sixes by a batsman in the history of the domestic tournament with a tally of 11 maximums against Chhattisgarh (he scored 123 in that game). He now has 1,036 runs in 24 List-A games at an average of 45.

“I was playing well from the pre-season games and I was confident that I could play some big knocks coming into the tournament,” Vishnu was quoted as saying by the Times. He also recalled the time when he hit a century against a touring Australian reserve team in a practice game in Chennai that boosted his confidence in batting.

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