AB de Villiers
Picture: AP

Ahead of the IPL 2021 opener between defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), AB de Villiers praised the former but cautioned them that it wouldn’t be an easy outing for the defending champions against the new-look RCB.

As excited as ever, the 37-year- old, in a video uploaded on RCB’s YouTube channel, hoped that the fresh recruits at RCB will be able to light up their campaign. In this regard, AB de Villiers said:

“It’s the first game of the IPL, and we all are very excited. Mumbai Indians are a fantastic team, who have won the trophy numerous times. We know what we will be up against, and I am very excited to see what we are made of,” he said.

“We’ve got a few new faces this year. Guys like Dan Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson and others have come to this setup. There are quite a few experienced heads. I know it’s a tough game first up, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough for MI as well,” he added.

In the overall head-to-head stats, Mumbai have won 19 encounters, while Bangalore has won 10. The Rohit Sharma-led are the most successful IPL franchise with 5 tournament wins, whereas the Virat Kohli-led are still eyeing their maiden glory.

Kohli and de Villiers, once again, will be the focal point of RCB’s batting line-up. However, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s addition will further boost firepower in the department.

Last season, AB de Villiers finished behind Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal in the run-scoring charts of the IPL in the 2020 edition. He amassed 454 runs at an average of 45.4 while striking at 158.74.

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