His sparkling fifty helped Royal Challengers Bangalore post a good score against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), AB de Villiers was "surprised" to find form in the side's Indian Premier League (IPL) opener after being out of action for five months due to the coronavirus-induced break. The former South African skipper provided the much needed final flourish with a 51-run innings off 30 balls to take RCB to 163 for five.
"I surprised myself to be honest. We had a competitive game in South Africa, which was great, gave me a little bit of confidence," de Villiers, who retired from international cricket in 2018, said after RCB beat SRH by 10 runs. "As a 36-year-old to come here, having not played a lot of cricket, in the middle of some talented youngsters - was a pleasing start. Very happy with the basics, seems to be in place," he added.
De Villiers singled out opener Devdutt Padikkal, who smashed a fifty on debut, for special praise and said that the young talents on display in the IPL are "incredible".
"Padikkal is a shy and quiet guy but I don't have to say much really, he looks like a really good talent.
"It's a tough thing to arrive at the IPL, they don't come more tough than that. The talent is just incredible. Every year there are 19 and 20-year-olds coming through looking like they've played international cricket for a long time," he added.
Image courtesy: BCCI