Former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has been named the new captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), replacing Indian batter Virat Kohli who stepped down after the 2021 season, the Indian Premier League (IPL) team said on Saturday.
Kohli, who took over as RCB skipper fulltime in 2013, was unable to lead the side to an IPL title. The team signed former Chennai Super Kings batsman Du Plessis at this year’s auction.
“Coming in as an outsider, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity,” Du Plessis said. “It’s no small thing to trust an outsider, an overseas player to do the job as a leader.
“My style in doing that isn’t going to be ‘my way’. I’ll rely on the amazing experience of our domestic and international players.”
Kohli said he was happy to pass the baton to a good friend.
“We’ve been in touch for many years now and he’s one of the guys I’ve gotten to know a little bit more apart from cricket,” Kohli said.
It will be the first time Du Plessis will captain a team in the Twenty20 competition.
“We get very along well, so I’m absolutely excited for him to lead RCB… and to play under him. The partnership with Faf is going to be exciting for RCB fans with (Glenn) Maxwell as well and the core group we retained,” Kohli said.
“The team looks balanced and pretty strong. I can’t wait to get started and to catch up with Faf and the rest of the boys. I’m really looking forward to this season. I’m excited.”
The entire 15th edition of the IPL will be played in a bio-secure environment in Mumbai and Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, from March 26. The final is scheduled for May 29.
Two new franchises — Lucknow and Ahmedabad — will also be part of the competition.
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