I think Klaasen is one of the best in world: AB de Villiers



Speaking on JioCinema, De Villiers said that SRH will be upset with their loss and should have won the match. “I think SRH will be upset with how they started (the tournament).

Updated On – 24 March 2024, 11:59 PM

I think Klaasen is one of the best in world: AB de Villiers

Sunrisers Hyderabad batter Heinrich Klaasen plays a shot during the IPL 2023 cricket match between Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Monday, May 15, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Mumbai: Legendary South African batter AB de Villiers lauded compatriot and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) batter Heinrich Klaasen, saying that he is one of the “best in the world” right now.

Despite an all-round show by Russell, SRH’s Heinrich Klaasen threatened to ruin KKR’s party and dented the over Rs 24-crore price-tagged Mitchell Starc’s IPL comeback with some massive sixes during a run-chase of 209 runs.

But a win was not meant to be for SRH as Harshit managed to keep his composure and defended 13 runs in the last over despite Klaasen hitting him for a massive six early on.

Harshit went on to pick up two wickets, including that off Klaasen. KKR won a thrilling match by four runs, but Klaasen came out of the match as a star, scoring 63* in 29 balls, with eight sixes. JioCinema IPL expert de Villiers discussed the impressive performances by Heinrich Klaasen (63 runs), and KKR all-rounder Andre Russell (64* runs in 25 balls, with three fours and seven sixes and 2/25), on ‘Match Centre Live’.

Speaking on JioCinema, De Villiers said that SRH will be upset with their loss and should have won the match. “I think SRH will be upset with how they started (the tournament).

They had KKR in trouble and should have pushed through. One more wicket and this game would have been over. We know 200 is an average score at the Eden Gardens, but the batting performance showed really nice composure and set it up nicely.

Maybe they left it a little bit too late and asked too much of the batters like Klaasen, but the form the man is in, he is possibly the best player in the world right now.

Why? He can go from gears one to five and five to one. He plays around and that is why I think he’s one of the best in the world right now.”

Klaasen has delivered some fine performances for South Africa in international T20 games, but the franchise T20 cricket is where he thrives the most. In his T20 career, he has scored 4,043 runs in 180 matches at an average of 32.34 and a strike rate of 151.08, with two centuries and 25 fifties.

His best score is 104*. Klaasen carried SRH’s inconsistent batting last season, scoring 448 runs at an average of 49.77 and a strike rate of 177.08, with a century and two fifties in 11 innings.

Speaking about Russell, de Villiers said that the all-rounder often gets criticised for inconsistency, but he wins games for his franchise when he steps up. “You have to give him a lot of credit for how he played tonight. I did not see him much last year and it must be tough for him.

He does not play a lot of cricket these days, but to rock up to the IPL with a lot of pressure on him, he still has a price tag on his name. Every season, he does not play well and there is a lot of criticism. It is easy to criticize but when the man steps up there and does what he does best, he wins games for KKR.

That’s what it comes down to. If he didn’t play tonight, they would not have won,” said de Villiers. Put to bat first by SRH, KKR was reduced to 51/4 in 7.3 overs.

However, a half-century by Phil Salt (54 in 40 balls, with three fours and three sixes) and an explosive knock by Ramandeep Singh (35 in 17 balls, with a four and four sixes) kept the team’s run rate just fine, but still they were struggling at 119/6 in 13.5 overs.

An explosive 67-run partnership followed between Andre Rusell (64* in 25 balls, with three fours and seven sixes) and Rinku Singh (23 in 15 balls, with three fours), powering KKR to 208/7 in 20 overs. T Natrajan (3/32) and Mayank Markande (2/32) were the top bowlers for SRH.

In the chase of 209 runs, SRH started off well with a 60-run opening stand between Mayank Agarwal (32 in 21 balls with four boundaries and a six) and Abhishek Sharma (32 in 19 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes). The team lost their way and was soon 145/5 in 16.5 overs.

However, Heinrich Klaasen (63 in 29 balls with eight sixes) and Shahbaz Ahmed (16 in five balls, with a four and two sixes) unreleased a barrage of sixes towards the end, torching pacer Mitchell Starc with a prize tag of over Rs 24 crore for 26 runs in his over, ending his first figures for KKR at 0/53 in four overs. 13 runs were needed in final over, but Harshit Rana (3/33) held his nerves, taking two wickets and defending the remaining runs.

Andre Russell secured the ‘Player of the Match’ for his half-century and figures of 2/25.



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