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Early career[ edit ] De Villiers became the second-youngest and second-fastest South African to reach 1, test runs after Graeme Pollock.
In his Test career so far has batted, bowled and kept wicket. He made an impressive opening the batting, but was dropped down the order for the second Test and also handed the wicket-keeping gloves.
In this match, he made a match saving half century from number seven. However, he found himself at the top of the order again for the final Test of the series and has played the majority of his Test innings there. Despite a good tour of the Caribbean where he scored to help South Africa seal a Test series win, his rapid progress was halted on the tour of Australia in Despite playing Shane Warne well, he struggled and made just runs in 6 innings.
He has been used in a similar fashion to Jonty Rhodes in ODIs, opening the innings, although he currently bats in the middle order.
De Villiers gave the selectors a sign by producing his then highest one-day score of 92 not out, which included 12 fours and one six, from 98 balls against India in the winter series.
De Villiers has a reputation as an outstanding fielder, typified by a diving run-out of Simon Katich of Australia in , when he dived to stop the ball, and while still lying on his stomach facing away from the stumps, he tossed the ball backwards over his shoulder and effected a direct hit.
This has also led people to make further comparisons of him to Jonty Rhodes , who was also one of the finest fielders of his generation. His fielding positions other than wicketkeepers are 1st and 2nd slip and cover. But I've learnt a lot the last seven years from an unbelievable captain," said De Villiers, who had never captained a team at first-class level.
In the early stages of the tournament AB's form was poor with three failures including a duck against the Netherlands in a match where his team broke various records for batting,  although he scored a 92 in the first round against Australia.
He made his maiden ODI hundred, from just balls including 5 sixes and 12 fours, in the Super 8 game against West Indies on 10 April He had to bat with a runner for the latter stages of his innings and found every shot painful due to a combination of cramps, heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Gaining attention[ edit ] On 4 April , De Villiers became the first South African to score a double century against India with his top score of De Villiers scored an obdurate that helped set up a ten-wicket win for South Africa in the second Test against England at Headingley Carnegie in Leeds in July This was followed by a 97 at The Oval before he came down the wicket trying to smash Monty Panesar for a boundary and was caught on the fence.
In the first Test in Perth, De Villiers scored a match-winning century to help South Africa chase down the second-highest-ever fourth innings target of with six wickets in hand.
This was South Africa's first Test victory in Australia in 15 years and appeared to go a long way towards tilting world cricket's balance of power after over a decade of Australian dominance. De Villiers also took four diving catches in the course of the match, including one to dismiss Jason Krejza , a stunner at backward point.
In the second innings of that Test though, De Villiers scored a patient half-century as South Africa almost held on for an against-the-odds draw.
He then scored 82 not out from 85 balls with 6 fours and a six to win the series and was named the man of the match. But in the second innings he made only 3 off 7. In the third test, after centuries from Ashwell Prince and Jacques Kallis , De Villiers became the third centurion of the innings with a score of off balls with 12 fours and 7 sixes.
This knock also tied the record for most sixes in an over as De Villiers, off a McDonald over, hit four consecutive sixes. In the following 5 game ODI series, De Villiers played consistently, although starting badly in the first game, scoring only 2 runs.
He was rested for the two-match Twenty20 series against Zimbabwe and because Mark Boucher was injured as well Heino Kuhn donned the keeping gloves. He did well against Zimbabwe scoring two centuries out of the three ODIs as South Africa comfortably won the three match series 3—0. His major challenge came against Pakistan for the two Twenty20 matches, where he kept wicket.
In the first match, he was out for a second-ball duck off a superb delivery by Shoaib Akhtar. In the second T20I he scored 11 runs. He then participated in the five-match ODI series where South Africa were chasing to win and he scored 51 before he was caught and bowled by Saeed Ajmal.
In the second ODI he scored 29 as he was bowled by Shahid Afridi ; in the same match, a flamboyant Abdul Razzaq played the greatest innings of his life to lift Pakistan to an unbelievable victory. During the third match, he scored 19 before he was stumped by Zulqarnain Haider.
It turned out to be a mistake by the umpire as he had pressed the wrong button. In the fourth match, he missed out on a half-century while on 49 when he gave his wicket to the fielder at point.
His good form in the series continued when he scored 61 in the final ODI as South Africa won by 57 runs and the series 3—2. He also became the 16th batsman to score two or more centuries in one World Cup tournament. AB de Villiers' strike rate of Lance Klusener heads the list with five awards.
In the latter, he scored a century not out in South Africa's win in the third and deciding Test of the series. He was named the Player of the Series, having scored runs at an average of In his first match as captain, South Africa inflicted the heaviest defeat in Sri Lanka's history, with a run win in Paarl on 11 January In the process, he became the first wicketkeeper to score a century and claim 10 dismissals in a Test.
De Villiers scored 12 fours and 3 sixes, and a total of Record breaking year[ edit ] On 18 January , De Villiers scored both the fastest fifty and the fastest century by a batsman in One Day International cricket, off 16 balls and 31 balls respectively and eventually scoring runs off 44 balls in With this feat, he became the record holder for the fastest 50, and in One-Day International history.
De Villiers finished the tournament as the third-highest run-getter with runs behind Martin Guptill and Kumar Sangakkara. After the end of the match, Hashim Amla resigned from the captaincy and de Villiers was chosen to captain South Africa for the last two matches. He completed the innings with 79 runs in 29 balls and led South Africa to a clean sweep in T20 series.
He stated he has given up wicket-keeping as his back can no longer handle the demand, and Faf du Plessis has resumed his role as captain in all forms of the game. His performance helped the team win the match by 6 wickets.
The announcement came as a complete shock  to fans all over the world as everyone expected him to retire after the World Cup  He announced his retirement through a video uploaded to Twitter in which he explained his shocking decision.
One of the statements in his monologue was "I have had my turn, and to be honest, I am tired.