'As a 36-year-old to come here, having not played a lot of cricket, in the middle of some talented youngsters -- was a pleasing start'
Royal Challengers Bangalore veteran AB de Villiers was "surprised" to find form in the side's IPL opener after being out of action for five months due to the coronavirus-induced break.
His sparkling fifty – 51 off 30 balls -- helped RCB to get to 163 for five Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"I surprised myself, to be honest. We had a competitive game in South Africa, which was great, gave me a little bit of confidence," De Villiers, who retired from international cricket in 2018, said after RCB beat SRH by 10 runs in Dubai.
"As a 36-year-old to come here, having not played a lot of cricket, in the middle of some talented youngsters -- was a pleasing start. Very happy with the basics, seems to be in place," he added.
De Villiers singled out opener Devdutt Padikkal, who smashed a fifty on debut, for special praise and said that the young talents on display in the IPL are "incredible".
"Padikkal is a shy and quiet guy but I don't have to say much really, he looks like a really good talent.
"It's a tough thing to arrive at the IPL, they don't come more tough than that. The talent is just incredible. Every year there are 19 and 20-year-olds coming through looking like they've played international cricket for a long time," he added.