Bangalore: This was not an Indian Premier League (IPL) game where he walked out to bat for the city franchisee but a batsman who would counter India, yet, when AB de Villiers started his walk to the crease, around 20,000 fans were shouting 'ABD… ABD' in chorus.
AB de Villiers walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed for 85 on Saturday. Pic/AFP
No wonder the parents seated in the VIP Stands were amazed at the scenes which certainly made them emotional. But then, ABD is a special player, who has crossed the barrier with his skill and goodwill to transform himself from a star cricketer into a loved cricketer as he walked in for his 100th Test match.
Call it the IPL effect but not every overseas international player gets a standing ovation even for a minor landmark like half century nor there is sigh of despair when the same man gets out 15 short of a landmark, a century in 100th Test, which only eight cricketers have achieved in the history of longer format before him.
Sr De Villiers surprised
"I was surprised hearing the chants ABD, ABD. I thought they were moaning when AB got out. We all know that Bangalore is AB's second 'home' now that he has been playing IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore for such a long time.
"I hope he now learns an Indian language," AB de Villiers Senior (well that's his name), who along with his wife Millie dropped in at the media enclosure, said.
Make no mistake, the Bangalore crowd went into raptures every time when Ashwin or Jadeja got a wicket. But the applause was equally warm and generous when De Villiers hit an off-drive off Ishant or rocked back to disdainfully square cut Jadeja.