Bengaluru, Nov 23: South Africa's ODI captain AB de Villiers has a huge fan following in India. He is a big hit among the youngsters in the country. The latest to join that growing list is former India captain and batting legend Rahul Dravid's sons.
De Villiers, who is currently in India playing the 4-Test series against the home team, was welcomed to the crease with chants of "ABD, ABD" during his 100th Test match at Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium last week.
Though the Test was a washout on 4 consecutive days, resulting in a draw, De Villiers struck a fine 85 on the opening day of the match. Bengaluru fans enjoyed his knock. Dravid himself was at the stadium that day.
Now, Dravid, who is the coach of India 'A' and Under-19 teams, has revealed his sons Samit and Anvay both try to copy De Villiers. Despite having the best batting coach in Dravid, his sons have started following the South African.
"If you can bat like that you are going to be popular. I see my sons playing, and they are always trying to play the shots AB (de Villiers) does. Like all young players, they try and copy him but soon realise that it is not that easy to do," Dravid was quoted as saying in "The Indian Express".
Dravid's eldest son Samit has already made his mark in school cricket. The 9-year-old right-hand batsman, in September this year, won "Best Batsman" award in Bengaluru in an inter-school tournament.
The 31-year-old De Villiers, rated as one of the best batsmen at the moment, manufactures shots which only he can do.
De Villliers, the "360 degrees batsman" - for his ability to play shots to each and every part of the cricket field, is now gearing up for the 3rd Test against India in Nagpur (from November 25). It won't be a surprise if we hear chants of "ABD, ABD" during the match.
"You can't really plan against AB. He's a world class batter. Only this is to just enjoy the contest between bat and ball and try to execute. AB has got all the shots in the book. He scores 360 degrees," De Villiers' team-mate Morne Morkel had said during this year's Indian Premier League (IPL).
Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar too had heaped praise on De Villiers recently. "He is really, really batting unbelievably well and it seems that he has got more time than anyone else," Tendulkar had said last month.