Praising AB de Villiers for his 'versatility' as a batsman, India Test captain Virat Kohli on Friday said the South African maestro's defiant knock, albeit in a losing cause, in the fourth and final Test match in Delhi was a classic example of 'application' in the longer format.
De Villiers, who has destroyed world class bowling attacks with his audacious shots in the limited overs format, denied himself the luxury of attacking batsmanship to occupy the crease for nearly six hours on the fifth and final day to score a patient 43 as South Africa tried desperately to avoid defeat.
However, his efforts went in vain, as India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin eventually dismissed off the 297th ball he faced before the Kohli-led hosts sliced through the lower order batsmen to win the Test by 337 runs and clinch the four-match series 3-0.
"I have grown to be a big admirer of AB and his ability over the past few years and knowing him from a close distance. Generally in international cricket you tend to recognise players who are going through a great phase and this has happened with AB in the last three-four years and before that he was getting there," said Kohli in Mumbai.
"But what he has done in last three-four years, its absolutely unbelievable and it's a classic case of someone realising his strengths and taking it to every format of the game," said the star batsman, who plays alongside de Villiers for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
"What he (AB) did in Delhi, I did not did not think he would do. Honestly, although he has done it in the past, but to do that when you are 2-0 down in a series and to have a mental strength to actually go out there and play 300-odd balls for 40-odd runs (was amazing) for a guy who is all about instinct," said Kohli.
"It showed the versatility he has in his game and its a learning for every cricketer around in the world nowadays, who thinks that application is not required in Test cricket.
"And he showed a classic case of application and the respect for a particular cricketer grows in your mind and that's exactly happened as respect for him grew in everyone's mind", the India Test skipper added.