The Johannesburg-born Brevis hogged the limelight with his power-packed batting show in the recently concluded ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022, which India won.
The South African colts failed to make it to the knockouts, but the 18-year-old Brevis was the pick of the batsmen, taking the tournament by storm and signing off as the highest run-scorer, with 506 runs in 6 innings, at an average of 84.33.
He began the tournament with a fine 65 run knock vs India and then followed that up with knocks of 104 vs Uganda, 96 vs Ireland and 97 vs England. His only low score was a 6 vs Sri Lanka, but he signed off with a brilliant 138 vs Bangladesh.
He also took 7 wickets with his more than useful off-spin, including 2 wickets vs India.
Apart from his run-scoring spree, what caught the attention was his batting style that drew comparisons with South African great AB de Villiers.
Now Baby AB will be seen in action in the IPL. The 18-year-old, who went on the auction table at a base price of Rs. 20 lakh, was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs. 3 crore. Very clearly he was on the radar of the most successful IPL franchise and they went all out for him.
The youngster can’t wait to play under Rohit Sharma who has guided Mumbai Indians to the IPL title five times (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020).
Brevis spoke to TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
PLAYING FOR THE MUMBAI INDIANS
“It is a huge honour to be part of a franchise with an amazing record like Mumbai Indians. Me and my brother idolised so many players in the Mumbai family while we grew up. Mumbai Indians is a team that you always feel have a very good chance of winning the IPL and their past record shows just that. They have also in the past been very good at giving young players a chance and I am privileged that I have this opportunity and look forward to working with their world-class coaching staff. Sachin Tendulkar is one of my childhood heroes,” Brevis told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
“I am very excited to play under Rohit Sharma. He is someone that I admire and for a young player like me to be able to share a dressing room with a captain and player like Rohit is a dream come true. I will try and learn as much as I can from him,” Brevis further said.
THE ICC U-19 WORLD CUP EXPERIENCE
“It (Under-19 World Cup) was an amazing experience. I am just keeping my feet on the ground. It’s been a memorable few weeks in the West Indies. It was tough to cut the noise around me. I do think that it helped to challenge and develop the mental side of my game. I am lucky to be surrounded by some incredible people, including my family, coaches, sponsors, the support staff, and our Under-19 team,” Brevis further told TimesofIndia.com.
‘BABY AB’ – THE STORY BEHIND THE NICKNAME
In the 2022 edition of the Under-19 World Cup, Brevis also hit the highest number of sixes (18) and fours (45).
Brevis played scoops, reverse sweeps, paddle sweeps, uppercuts, and switch hits with ease in the tournament. And, that is why he was compared to Mr. 360 – AB de Villiers.
“While growing up AB was my cricket hero. I never intentionally tried to copy AB. My cricket and batting style developed naturally. I often watched AB play on TV and at SuperSport Park. Similar cricket shots came naturally. My brother Reinardt says I am playing a fearless game, but I am reckless. It’s a good summary of who I am as a batter,” the youngster further told TimesofIndia.com.
“I am very humbled when fans call me Baby AB, or when they compare me with him. He is such a legend. I still have a lot to learn,” Brevis said.
MEETING HIS ‘IDOL’ AB
“It was in May 2019. We had supper as a family at Culture Club in Hazlewood, Pretoria. My brother Reinardt spotted AB and his wife Danielle. I walked over and couldn’t say a word. I just stuttered that it is an honour to meet him in person. His wife suggested that we take a photo,” Brevis recalled.
“Five months later, in October 2019, my good friend Schalk Engelbrecht (18 year old cricketer from Pretoria in South Africa) and I were on our way to cricket practice at Affies when a grade 9 boy rushed to us, telling us AB is the visiting coach. We dropped everything and ran. And there was my hero AB de Villiers. I sat down with him. At first, I was so overwhelmed, then I started asking him questions about cricket and about all the bowlers he faced. This was my first real meeting with AB. He told me ‘always keep it simple and play the game’,” he said.
‘WANT TO MEET VIRAT KOHLI‘
One man AB de Villiers has formed many unforgettable batting partnerships with in the IPL is Virat Kohli. Brevis has never met Virat and is hoping the IPL will give him the opportunity to fulfill his long-cherished dream of meeting the Indian run-machine.
“He (Virat) plays with aggression and passion. He is a great chaser of the game. He can adapt to different games and formats and situations. He is a master in playing all three formats. His batting technique is just superb. It will be overwhelming to meet him,” Brevis signed off.