Cricket World Cup 2015

Kallis: How harsh words sparked AB

2015-03-04 10:00
Jacques Kallis (AFP)

Cape Town - Former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis has revealed how a chastening chat in 2008 prompted AB de Villiers onto the path to stardom.

De Villiers is the talk of the cricketing world after another breathtaking century against the West Indies in their Cricket World Cup match last week.

He scored the fastest 150 in ODI cricket - off just 64 balls.

De Villiers has always been talented, but was renowned for throwing his wicket away at key times earlier in his career.

Kallis, via a column on Cricket Australia’s website, revealed how a moment in a Test against England at Lord’s changed the course of De Villiers’s career.

"He was capable of everything; he just didn't always understand what was required in a particular situation,” Kallis wrote.

“There was a turning point in 2008 when he was dismissed softly against England in the Lord's Test match, chipping a catch to mid-on. Graeme Smith and Mickey Arthur (captain and coach) spoke frankly - and without any soft edges. They said the time had come to deliver, to deliver on his talent.

“He made 174 in the next Test match at Headingley. It set up our series win, but more importantly, he learned how to manage his talent.

“He has been managing his talent ever since. Some people may just be waking up to his genius now, but it has been there, on display, for many years.”

De Villiers, 31, is currently ranked second in the ICC Test and first in the ODI batting rankings.

De Villiers holds the record for the fastest 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) in ODIs.

On January 18, 2015, he smashed the fastest century in ODI history, breaking New Zealand's Corey Anderson's record, reaching 100 off just 31 balls and going on to score 149 runs off just 44 balls against the West Indies at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

CLICK HERE to read Kallis's full column

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