Cape Town – One additional strong reason
for South Africa to seek revenge in the second Test against India in Bangalore from
Saturday will be the occasion of AB de Villiers’ 100th game for the
Proteas – the seventh player from our shores to reach the landmark.
Although no stranger to that city given his
adored presence in the ranks of Indian Premier League outfit Royal Challengers
Bangalore since signing from Delhi Daredevils in 2011, the dashing batsman will
be playing his first Test (along with all his current team-mates) at the M
The world No 1-ranked Proteas enter the
second of four clashes 1-0 down after their 108-run defeat in three days on a controversial,
dry surface at Mohali, where the tourists unusually could only manage 293 runs
across both innings.
De Villiers top-scored with 63 in the
first, and South African will wish for much bigger things from him and other
key batsmen in Bangalore.
His 100th appearance should aid
both his and the team’s motivation to strike back in a hurry; when De Villiers
takes to the field he will become the 63rd player in global Test
history to hit the milestone.
Six compatriots have previously got to
three figures, with Jacques Kallis the SA leader -- 166 Tests, for fourth place
overall behind Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar (200), and Australians Ricky
Ponting and Steve Waugh (168 each).
The other, all-retired Proteas stars to
feature in the elite club are Mark Boucher (147 Tests), Graeme Smith (117), Shaun
Pollock (108), and Makhaya Ntini and Gary Kirsten (101 each).
Of the South Africans already in the ton-up
category, only Kallis (career average 55.37) boasts a better batting average
than De Villiers, whose own stands at 51.92 after his 99 Tests.
The Pretoria-born Abraham Benjamin de
Villiers, 31, is the country’s 296th officially-recorded Test cap,
having earned that status when he made his debut against England at Port
Elizabeth in 2004/05.
He will be the only SA player turning out
in the second Test to boast any prior international experience of Chinnaswamy
Stadium, having represented the Proteas in a 2005 ODI, won by six wickets by
India; he opened the batting that day with his captain at the time, Smith, and
was dismissed for four.
There has been just one previous Test
between the two nations at the venue, back in March 2000, when Hansie Cronje’s
side thrashed the hosts by an innings and 71 runs to complete a maiden away
series triumph (2-0) over these opponents.
*Nearest present national colleagues to De
Villiers for admission to “Club 100” are Amla (85 Test caps) and Dale Steyn
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