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Awesome AB rolls back the years

AB de Villiers has been prolific since his comeback to Test cricket after two years ESPNcricinfo Ltd

AB de Villiers has played some influential knocks since his comeback to Test cricket. He returned for the Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe and has been part of all five Tests against India and Australia since then. He was South Africa's highest run-scorer in the series against India and currently tops the charts in the series against Australia as well. In 10 innings since his comeback, he has made five 50-plus scores. He has also been his team's highest run-getter in five of those 10 innings.

In the ongoing series versus Australia, de Villiers is yet to get out to any of the visiting bowlers. He remained not out in first innings of both Tests and was unfortunate to be run-out in the second innings of the first Test. In all, he has scored 197 runs off 274 balls without losing his wicket to any of the bowlers. He ran out of partners in both first innings, remaining stranded on 71 and 126. He has had a control percentage of over 85 against each of the four major Australia bowlers, best of all against Pat Cummins with 94.94%.


De Villiers showed a different class in his unbeaten 126 in Port Elizabeth. While all his other team-mates struggled to score at a good clip, de Villiers collected runs with ease, managing a strike rate of 86.30 while the rest of South Africa's top eight combined to score at 38.22. They scored 172 runs off 450 balls.

Overall in this series De Villiers has managed a control percentage of 90.51, better than every other batsman on either side. Steven Smith has a similar control percentage as de Villiers, while none of the other South Africa batsmen have control percentages of even 85. Aiden Markram is the next best at 84.23. Of the five players with the best control percentages in this series, de Villiers is the only South African.

*updated till end of South Africa's first innings of Port Elizabeth Test
De Villiers' unbeaten 126 in the Port Elizabeth Test is his first century in over three years and his sixth against Australia. He now has the most centuries against Australia among South Africa batsmen. Graeme Pollock, Eddie Barlow, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla have made five each. In the last 10 years, Virat Kohli is the only other batsman with six centuries against Australia.

In his 10 innings since his comeback, de Villiers has made 461 runs in 10 innings at an average of 57.62 - both numbers the best among South Africa's batsmen. He is also the only one to make five 50-plus scores in these matches. This could well be de Villiers' last 'big' Test series and he is batting at his absolute best.