But it was “Baby AB’s” stunning showing at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup earlier this year that sped up his journey to the top of the game.
If eyebrows were raised when the Indian Premier League’s Mumbai Indians splashed out Rs 3 crore to bring an 18-year-old Brevis to the franchise, then the doubters cannot have been paying attention.
The South African teenager immediately showed his class, slotting into the IPL starting XI at number three for Mumbai and displaying his outrageous range of shots and ability to score eye-wateringly fast, stroking 29 from 19 balls in his first IPL outing against Kolkata Knight Riders.
And Brevis has barely looked back, slamming five maximums in a 25-ball 49 that almost helped his side pull off an unlikely run chase against Punjab Kings, and hammering 31 from 13 balls against Lucknow Super Giants.
But a pair of low scores saw Brevis suddenly on the outer in Mumbai as Indians coach Mahela Jayawardena shuffled his side in an attempt to find the winning formula.
But Brevis' star is still on the rise and the now 19-year-old is tipped to be fast-tracked into South Africa’s full T20I side ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
But nobody who watched the brilliant Brevis light it up at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in January and February will have been surprised by how the past few months have gone for the boy from Johannesburg.
Brevis was comfortably the top-scorer at the tournament, hitting 506 runs in six innings, including two centuries as well as a 96 against Ireland and a 97 against eventual runners-up England.
BREVIS' RECORD-BREAKING U19 NUMBERS
- 65 and 2/43 vs India
- 104 and 2/18 vs Uganda
- 96 and 0/13 vs Ireland
- 97 and 2/40 vs England
- 6 and 1/52 vs Sri Lanka
- 138 and 0/34 vs Bangladesh
WHAT THEY SAID
South Africa Men’s U19 coach Shukri Conrad: “Dewald Brevis is a player who’s on everyone’s lips. He’s AB de Villers 2.0.”
ICC pundit Natalie Germanos: “We all know he looks like AB de Villiers, he plays like him, strokes the ball just like him. He’s an absolute star. I really feel this is one for the future for South Africa.”
ICC commentator Alan Wilkins: “It’s almost as if he premeditates and says ‘this bowler’s going to go’. He plays these audacious shots, he’s got touch, but he goes big down the ground. He’s a formidable force for South African cricket, and I think he’s going to go all the way.”
DEWALD BREVIS IN HIS OWN WORDS
“I think I was born with a passion to play cricket and a love for the game, and I really want to make a difference with cricket," Brevis told the ICC.
“In my era growing up everyone knows AB de Villiers, he’s been such a role model for me from a very young age.
“I’ve chatted to AB quite a lot, it’s a special relationship, something that I keep close to my heart and don’t really talk much about, but he’s given me some advice and small things to improve my game.”
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