AB's 'shot of the Cup' compared to Sachin
Kevin Pietersen lauds AB de Villiers for on drive in South Africa's World Cup semi-final in Auckland
24 March 2015, 04:16 PM AEST
South Africa captain AB de Villiers has played a shot that has been described by former England captain Kevin Pietersen as similar to one that Indian great Sachin Tendulkar used to play at the height of his career.
De Villiers was in supreme touch in South Africa's World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Auckland, moving to 60 not out when rain halted play.
Full report & highlights: New Zealand v South Africa, Auckland
One of the highlights of his 38-ball innings was a back-foot punch down the ground for four off the bowling of recalled Black Caps paceman Matt Henry.
Henry, who impressed in his first match of the tournament having been plucked from New Zealand first-class cricket this week, bowled a good-length delivery just outside off stump with the first ball of his seventh over.
With a wide mid-on in place, de Villiers simply shuffled back and across his crease and punched the ball to the long-on boundary for four.
Highlights of New Zealand v South Africa
Pietersen labelled the stroke "the shot of the tournament" and said it reminded him of how Tendulkar used to demoralise fast-bowlers during his career.
"That's the shot that Sachin Tendulkar used to ruin fast bowlers with," Pietersen said on Fox Sports.
"He just stood there at the top of its bounce.
"This guy (Henry) has been playing club cricket, he's been playing first-class cricket, he's just come back into the squad.
"That shot there is a shot that intimidates any bowler, let alone a bloke who's just come from a club field.
"In a club game, he bowls top of off stump and the bloke nicks it.
"AB de Villiers has just stood there and gone 'my friend, not now'."