His sparkling fifty helped Royal Challengers Bangalore post a good score against Sunrisers Hyderabad, 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.
The former South African skipper provided the much needed final flourish with a 51-run innings off 30 balls to take RCB to 163 for five.
"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.