De Villiers made his Test debut at the age of 20 against England at Port Elizabeth in 2004. His ODI debut was in February 2005. His career for Proteas started then. He played five ODIs for Africa XI as well.
De Villiers is defined as one of the greatest ODI batsmen. His numbers tell exactly that. 9577 runs in 228 matches (218 innings) at an average of 53.50 and a strike rate of 101.09. No one else possesses a strike rate of 100+ after scoring 5000+ runs.
Out of his 25 ODI hundreds, five of them were after the 25th over. Only Virat Kohli and Jos Buttler have done that (two each). And all his centuries have come at a strike rate of over 100. His 21 hundreds have come at No.4 or lower position, the next best is Ross Taylor’s 17.
The Protea still holds the record for fastest ODI 50, 100 and 150 (16, 31 and 64 balls respectively). His highest score 176 came against Bangladesh last year. That was his last ODI hundred as well.
De Villiers was as good in Tests as well, amassing 8765 runs at 50.66 in 114 matches (191 innings) including 22 tons. His latest hundred came against Australia at Port Elizabeth this year.
AB signed off with a superb series against Australia which had four Tests. He scored 427 runs in 8 innings at 71.17, an average which is the second-best in a player’s last Test series in 30 years. Brian Lara had scored 448 at 89.60 against Pakistan.
De Villiers is one of two batsmen to score 5000+ runs at 50+ average in both Tests and ODIs. His RCB mate Kohli is the other.
Since his debut, he has scored 20,014 runs in international cricket. Only Kumar Sangakkara has scored more runs (21,437) than him in this period.
His excellence with bat in hand matches with his fielding. He has 463 catches and 17 stumpings in international cricket. In 2013 Johannesburg Test, he scored 103 and affected 11 dismissals against Pakistan. He is the only player in the history to hit a century and make 10-plus dismissals in a Test.
In his career of entertainment with the bat and in the field, he also had fun with the ball in hand too. He has two Test wickets and 7 ODI scalps.
A career of 20,014 runs, 1,004 fours, 328 sixes, 463 catches, 17 stumpings and 9 wickets in 420 matches comes to an end. Adios Abraham Benjamin de Villiers!