RCB unstoppable If Kohli doesn't get you, AB will! – yugmarg

RCB unstoppable If Kohli doesn’t get you, AB will!

RCB unstoppable If Kohli doesn't get you, AB will!

RCB unstoppable If Kohli doesn’t get you, AB will!

“Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, if Lillee doesn’t get ya, Thommo must”

Thus ran a cartoon caption coined by the Sydney Daily Telegraph during the 1974-75 Ashes. England skipper Tony Greig had riled Dennis Lille, who then paired up with Jeff Thomson to pound the visiting batsmen with a barrage of bouncers. (Full IPL coverage)

For generations after, no other pair came close to emulating what Lille and Thommo did for Australia in the 1970s. Curtley and Courtney were intimidating, Waqar and Wasim were frightening, Donald and Pollock were deadly, Anderson and Broad are unbelievably accurate but they failed to do what those two Australian gentlemen did together – Lillee and Thomson made the best batsmen in the world doubt their own potential.

More than three decades later, cricket is a very different game. Test matches are played on featherbeds, the express pace bowlers are a dying breed and T20 cricket is at its pinnacle. Yet, through the decades, several batting pairs have dominated world cricket – Hayens-Greendidge, Anwar-Sohail, Tendulkar-Ganguly, Tendulkar-Sehwag, Laxman-Dravid, Hayden-Langer and several others have forced bowlers to cower with fear. (AB de Villiers powers Bangalore into final)

But somehow, and this must be said with a fair amount of trepidation, two modern-day colossals have surpassed their illustrious peers. And it would to false claim to pit Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers with Lillee and Thomson. Like the fast bowlers before, them, Kohli and AB love instilling fear deep into the opposition camp.

Kohli and de Villiers are very different kind of players. While one likes to build his innings gradually and picks his gaps with the precision of a surgeon, the other plays any shot that comes to mind, leaving bowlers and spectators bewildered. Why Kohli recently said it was embarrassing to bat with de Villiers, given his range of strokeplay.

Kohli had also admitted that he no big six-hitter but he has 36 this season, one less than de Villiers. They have been utterly destructive and Royal Challengers Bangalore, once languishing near the bottom of the table, rode on those scintillating performances to roar through to their third final. (I bow down to AB de Villiers, says Virat Kohli)

Interest in the IPL had started to dwindle before the Kohli-AB show hit the town. The two have scored 1601 runs in 30 innings between them. While Kohli has got 919 of those, de Villiers has amassed 682. While Kohli averages 83.54 in the IPL this year, AB has scored about 57 runs in each of his 15 innings (on an average). These are mind-numbing numbers and no bowling or batting pair in history has come close to dominating the opposition so singularly, in any tournament.