Cape Town - Retired Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson
says South Africa’s AB de Villiers was the standout batsmen he bowled to during
Johnson retired from all forms of international cricket on
Tuesday, having taken 313 wickets in 73 Tests at an average of 28.40.
He was quoted as saying on Cricket Australia’s official
website that De Villiers was an exceptional opponent.
"AB de Villiers, he's one outstanding player of our
generation," said Johnson. "He was always so difficult to get out and
a huge challenge.
"I remember the game at Centurion (in 2014) and I'd got
a few quick wickets in that game and he came out to bat and looked so calm and
composed and just played his natural game.
"It really is difficult when someone does come out like
that and you're on top of your game. But it really is a great challenge and
he's been one of the best players I've played against."
In that Centurion Test, Johnson claimed 12 wickets in a
man-of-the-match performance, ripping apart the Proteas with the same pace and
hostility that destroyed England in the Ashes only months earlier.
And while Johnson dismissed De Villiers twice in that match,
the prodigious right-hander cut a lone figure for the Proteas, top-scoring in
both innings with 91 and 48.
Johnson also scored 2065 runs at an average of 22.20, with his highest score 123 not out against South Africa at Newlands in 2009.