AB de Villiers struggled against England in the 2016 home Test series, where he managed only 210 runs in four Tests as South Africa lost 1-2. He was particularly troubled by Stuart Broad, who got him thrice in seven innings including twice for ducks.
De Villiers, though, made it a point to give it back in the ODIs which South Africa won 3-2. De Villiers made 218 runs from five innings at an average of 72.67, with one half-century and one century.
Recalling the series in the Super Over podcast, de Villiers conceded Broad was 'completely over' him.
"It’s right when you say it, and Broad was completely over me in that Test series couple of weeks prior to the ODIs. I was definitely feeling pressure from his side, he was bowling with amazing skill throughout the series. He had me jumping all over the place, he was actually on top of me. I had to do something. I decided in the ODI series that I’m not going to allow that to happen," he said.
JP Duminy, also in the podcast, remembered how de Villiers took on Broad in Johannesburg. Chasing 263, South Africa were 63 for 2 when de Villiers walked in. Soon, it became 63 for 3 when Duminy joined de Villiers.
"We were playing against England at the Wanderers," Duminy recalled. “and Stuart Broad was bowling and I was defending, just trying to get the partnership going. AB walks in, double steps him and hits him straight over his head, like, in the first few balls, and I am like, ‘Jeepers, OK!’ And we come together, and I was like, ‘Yo, Abraham! What happened there?’
"He’s like, ‘No! Need to make sure I am letting him know that I am here.’ You talk about belief, we were speaking about Virat Kohli, and I think that was the difference. He certainly had this ability to transfer pressure in an amazing way, and be consistent with it because a lot of us will try and do it. But the word he mentioned there was commitment, that in those moments when he made decisions, there was no holding back - sweeping somebody or coming down the wicket, that commitment was fully there."
The duo added 58 for the fourth wicket before de Villiers was run out for 36 off 27. South Africa went on to win the thriller by one wicket.
"Amazing fightback from JP and I, we got it back there. Fifty partnership … and then he ran me out! You remember that? Chris Woakes, rolled it right back at Woakes, and he’s like, ‘Yeah’. He’s halfway down the wicket, I am like ‘OK’. I am fifty off 25 balls, I am seeing the ball like a balloon… at least we won that game.”
"I was trying to get the limelight dude," Duminy said in jest. "He’s been getting the limelight for years, come on man!"