Australia believe they have found a weakness in AB de Villiers’ batting which they will try and exploit when the teams face off in a three-match T20 series.
Australia believe De Villiers has a potential weakness against spin bowling and specifically right-arm spin in the shortest format of the game, reports cricket.com.au.
Of the bowlers who have dismissed him on multiple occasions in T20I cricket, it’s the off-spin of India’s Ravi Ashwin which has been the most effective, having dismissed De Villiers three times in five games.
De Villiers averages 26.66 against Ashwin, up three runs from his overall average of 23.49 from 65 matches, but against the likes of England’s Graeme Swann (average of 3.5), Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi (7) and Black Caps veteran Nathan McCullum (10), he struggles.
Australia could turn to their destructive batsman, Glenn Maxwell, to try and stop the attacking De Villiers with his right-arm off-spin.
‘He (De Villiers) is one of the most destructive, if not the most destructive batsmen in the world,’ Steve Smith said on Monday after arriving in South Africa.
‘He hits the ball 360 degrees when he is going. We’re going to have a few plans in place that will hopefully work. He’s a terrific player and very hard to stop.’
Smith said the key is to defeat the South African superhero as early as possible.
‘He’s an absolutely quality player in all formats of the game,’ Smith said. ‘If he get going he’s extremely hard to stop. We’re going to have to come with a few things to make sure he doesn’t get started.’