No one could have put it any better than Mark Nicholas, the commentator from England, who stated that this particular segment could only be best labeled the AB de Villiers show.
One is often found talking of Jonty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs or Ricky Ponting when the topic of fielders extraordinaire is broached. But people who think that this South Africa team, which may lack individual star talents in prominence like some of their more flaired counterparts around the world, are in for a shock.
AB de Villiers is rather subtly walking himself into an extraordinary league of gentlemen that belong to the cricketing fraternity. His century in the first Test between South Africa and Australia in Perth was instrumental in getting his team across the finish line in that monumental 414 run chase. But his fielding was also perhaps equally, if not more, instrumental in ensuring Australia never went too far.
The Australian broadcasting channels run a popular contest, asking viewers to vote for the best catch of the three on display. Well, today on the first day of the second Test in Melbourne, the segment carried a string of catches, all belonging to AB. The only choice for the viewer was : which was the best catch by AB on the day?
The three catches in question: a splendid low catch in the slips to dismiss Mike Hussey; another superb slip effort to get rid of Brett Lee and on at point, diving to his left to dismiss Jason Krezja.
Perhaps not as electrifying for some as Jonty was, AB has a mesmeric effect in the field, something Graeme Smith would perhaps feel he forgot in the morning when he decided to put Neil McKenzie in second slip and AB in third when he was great at fourth after Jacques Kallis injured himself while bowling.
Neil McKenzie dropped the Australian skipper Ricky Ponting when the latter was still only on twenty-four on the verge of the lunch break. Dale Steyn may have had a wicket but his drop proved costlier still as Ponting went on to score a century. Will it prove to be the difference in this close fought game? The intrigue, as always, continues.