Explaining his approach to batting De Villiers said that he tries to make a more instant impact on the game.
“We take on different bowlers. I personally like to attack a little earlier, not to show weakness early on. I am earlier to the trigger. I want the bowlers to feel early on that it will be trouble if I’m allowed to bat for 5 overs,” De Villiers told Harsha Bhogle on a Cricbuzz in Conversation episode.
“Virat is a more reliable batsman. He’s the one you want to bat for 15 overs. I am better in a way I could change the game quicker, have an injection that could swing the game. So together we are a nice combo,” he added.
Playing together for RCB, Kohli and De Villiers have learned from each other with both players admitting to copying the other’s techniques.
Kohli has picked up finer details of the pull and hook shots from the South African.
“You need to extend your arms with the short ball. It’s a difficult one for the mind to understand. The quicker the bowler is, the more you think you need more time, you need to pull in. But you actually need to (extend your arms and) fetch it. It becomes a lot easier to control it. That’s what I think Virat got right in the last few years. He extends his arms and then rolls his wrists to keep it down,” De Villiers said, admitting that he learnt a bit about playing spin bowling from the Indian skipper.
Dhoni, not Kohli to lead De Villiers’ all-time IPL XI
However, De Villiers picked Mahendra Singh Dhoni over Kohli when it came to captaining his all-time IPL XI. He though did include Kohli in the team.
As openers, the South African picked his former Delhi Daredevils teammate Virender Sehwag to bat alongside Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma.
De Villiers then picked Kohli and himself to bat in the No 3 and 4 positions respectively before picking England all-rounder Ben Stokes to bat at No 5.
Dhoni was slotted to come in at No 6 followed by Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan of Afghanistan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and compatriot Kagiso Rabada.
“Opening the batting, someone I started with at Delhi – Viru. And then someone who I think has played the best cricket in the world over the last five years - Rohit. Virat is at No. 3. No. 4 either Williamson or Smith or I,” De Villiers said.
The 13th edition of the IPL has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic with no clarity over if and when it will be played. De Villiers who retired from international cricket last year was set to play for RCB again who are looking to win their first-ever title.
AB de Villiers’ all-time IPL XI: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes, Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah.