AB de Villiers absolutely ahead of his time - Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar (right) shares a moment with Muttiah Muralitharan (left) during an inaugural event organized by UNICEF aimed at improving hygiene and
Sachin Tendulkar (right) shares a moment with Muttiah Muralitharan (left) during an inaugural event organized by UNICEF aimed at improving hygiene and sanitation for children, in Colombo.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar lauded South African One-Day International captain AB de Villiers as a player who is "way ahead of his time."

De Villiers scored three hundreds in the five ODIs against India in the recently concluded series and took home the man of the series award.

His belligerent 61-ball 119 run knock in the fifth match in Mumbai propelled South Africa’s score to a mammoth 438 runs – which is the fourth highest ODI total ever.

Earlier this year, de Villiers set the records for the fastest fifty, fastest century and also the fastest 150 in ODIs.

Picking de Villiers’s hundred to be the best among the three centuries scored in the final ODI in Mumbai, Tendulkar credited the way the 31-year-old paced his innings.

"I felt that South Africa batted really well.

“I wouldn't want to take away the credit away from Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis but I thought de Villiers batted really well.

"I still remember I was watching a little bit and Shaun Pollock kept saying he has not shifted to sixth and seventh gear.

“It was rightly so, he has figured out how to pace his innings and he did it beautifully.

“I would give credit to the way he batted."

Among the players who have scored a minimum of 2000 runs in ODIs, de Villiers has the best batting average of 54.21.

As a result of his batting exploits, de Villiers is currently the top ranked ODI batsman and enjoys a 96 point lead over the second placed Virat Kohli.

Tendulkar acknowledged that de Villiers is currently in his best phase as a batsman, possessing skills that are unmatched in the present time.

"Yes, he is, absolutely (ahead of his time)!

“Maybe he is possibly at the peak of his career.

“He is really, really batting unbelievably well and it seems that he has got more time than anyone else." 

The Indian team performance in the ODI series against South Africa was a roller coaster ride, with wins at Indore and Chennai, while losing games at Kanpur, Rajkot and Mumbai.

Despite the ups and downs of the team, Tendulkar urged the fans to support the team irrespective of the results of the matches.

"We have a very good team.

“Each team will go through phases.

“There will be patches where you will play well and there will be tough phases where things will get really difficult and things won’t go to your plans.

“But that doesn't mean that every weekend you pass a judgement on your team.

"When they do well you say 'wow they have done really well' and following week if they don't do well you start criticising them.

“I think we need to show more balance and we all are passionate about cricket and we need to be patient also.”

Tendulkar will lead the Sachin’s Blasters team against Shane Warne’s Warriors in the Cricket All-Stars Twenty20 tournament which will be held in the United States in November.

© Cricket World 2015