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Who Is The ‘Mr 360’ Of Cricket?

Who Is The ‘Mr 360’ Of Cricket?
AB De Villiers (Credit: IPL)

The game becoming increasingly competitive over the years, players should possess skills that differentiate them from other players. One of the traits people have looked at in players over the past few years is the ability to shots 360 degrees. Does the question arise of who a 360-degree batter is? A simple answer to this question is a batter who can access and hit the ball to all parts of the ground.

A 360-degree player will be a cut above the rest. This tag of Mr 360-degree in the sport has been given to South African batter AB de Villiers. His unconventional shot selection and ability to access all parts of the ground while at the crease have allowed him to earn this tag of Mr 360. The best bowlers in the world have surrendered to his batting abilities. His freak shots keep the commentators on the edge of their seats.

The 360-degree batsman is a crowd favourite in cricket, not only at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. One of the few players to have participated in the event since its debut in 2008, he only fully gained popularity among fans when he joined the Royal Challengers in 2011. Several occasions come to mind where he has displayed his array of unusual shots, whether the knocks against the West Indies in the 2015 ICC World Cup or the one where he brought up the feat of the fastest ODI century against the same opposition.

Several batters like Glenn Maxwell, Jos Buttler and KL Rahul have been termed 360-degree players because of their versatility. But not many have reached the calibre of the South African batter.

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Maxwell, in his early days with his switch hits, reverse sweeps, lapses, and other unusual shots led many to believe that he was the next ‘Mr 360’ but unfortunately, he wasn’t able to reach those expectations as his form tapered off for years and people only saw glimpses of his potential occasionally. But in the last few years he has found for himself a formula which is giving him results on the international stage and leagues around the world.

The last few years saw the emergence of another player who plays shots similar to ABD himself. In the view of some cricketing experts he is better than him given the consistency and the strike rate at which he scores all his runs. He is none other than India’s SuryaKumar Yadav also known as SKY. ABD has been around for the last decade but he made his international debut at the age of 30. He has gone from strength to strength and has scored his runs at a strike rate in excess of 170.

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In his short international career he has already registered 16 scores in excess of 50 which includes 3 centuries in the shortest format. In the 2022 T20 World Cup he didn’t fail to light up the tournament and was the second highest run-getter for India in the tournament scoring 239 runs which included 3 half centuries. SKY also became the first Indian batter to score in excess of 1000 runs in a calendar year.

He is getting the rewards for all his performances as he ranks Number 1 on the ICC T20I Rankings of Batters. Given his purple patch of form the question arises who is the ‘Mr 360’ between SKY and ABD? But the debate has been settled in the view of SKY as opines that he wants to bat like the Protea batter. “There is only one 360-degree player in the world, and I will try to play like him.”

To his he humbly replied, “You’re very quickly getting there dude and even more! Well played today.” 

ABD through his career has scored 8765 runs in Tests, 9577 runs in ODI’s, 1672 runs in T20I’s and 5162 runs in the IPL.

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