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At just 19, is Dewald Brevis better than AB de Villiers and even Jacques Kallis?

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How good is Dewald Brevis? And what about the AB de Villiers comparisons? Well, at the age of 19, De Villiers had yet to play for Mzansi, although he had started playing for the Titans.

Dewald Brevis of Momentum Multiply Titans during the 2022 CSA T20 Challenge game against the Imperial Lions at St Georges Park in Port Elizabeth on 17 February 2022. Picture: Deryck Foster, BackpagePix

Cape Town – With the T20 World Cup on the go in Australia, I haven’t really been keeping an eye on the domestic Cricket SA T20 Challenge.

Firstly, the entire event is taking place in Potchefstroom, which is not exactly one of the most exciting places and venues.

And of course, the Proteas players are Down Under and not participating.

But on Monday while flipping through the channels, I stumbled upon the Titans vs Knights clash, and the new batting sensation Dewald Brevis was at the crease.

So far in his young career, he hasn’t really produced an innings of substance at senior level, despite having played for the Titans, Mumbai Indians and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

He only scored his maiden T20 half-century a few weeks ago, for the Titans against the Dolphins – 57 off 44 balls – and had a penchant for scoring ‘pretty’ 20s and 30s before getting out to a rash shot.

Brevis put a proper knock together on Monday, and it was a joy to watch as he stroked his way to an incredible 162 off just 57 balls, with 13 fours and 13 sixes.

My two favourites were the ‘ramp hook’ over the wicket-keeper’s head off paceman Gerald Coetzee, and there was another six off a spinner where Brevis kept looking down long after the ball had soared through the sky.

Of course, such a stunning innings got fans screaming on social media for Brevis to be on the first flight over to Australia to join the Proteas squad, but he said afterwards that he is happy to work his through the domestic scene before earning higher honours.

But just how good is he? And what about the AB de Villiers comparisons? Well, at the age of 19, De Villiers had yet to play for Mzansi, although he had started playing for the Titans.

The dashing right-hander made his Test debut at 20 in 2004, against England in Gqeberha, and then his ODI bow two weeks before his 21st birthday in February 2005 against the same country.

De Villiers had moved between opening the batting and coming in at No.6, while he also had some wicket-keeping duties at times.

He hadn’t quite hit the headlines when he played his first match for the Proteas, certainly not in the way Brevis has captured the imagination in recent months.

There have been concerns that the latter hasn’t played enough senior cricket yet to warrant a Proteas call-up.

But the way Brevis batted on Monday proved that he is a special talent, and sometimes special talents must get special treatment.

Sure, he does need to learn how to construct an innings in the longer formats, but Brevis has all the ingredients to become a force in the global stratosphere.

Just like another top-class cricketer, Jacques Kallis, was promoted and persevered with at the highest level until he found his groove, so too should Brevis be catapulted into the Proteas side in all three formats following the T20 World Cup.

Is Brevis better than De Villiers at the age of 19 – and even Kallis? I think so. And even if you differ in that regard, there is still no denying that he is an extraordinary batter.

The Proteas’ batting line-up across the formats needs all the help they can get, considering their battles over the last few years, and Brevis can only strengthen the cause …

@AshfakMohamed

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