Du Plessis regrets sacking Kohli from RCB captaincy

New Delhi: For years, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was known as Virat Kohli’s team but that is about to change in IPL 2022. Ahead of the 15th edition of the tournament, the Bengaluru-based franchise has named former CSK star and IPL veteran Faf du Plessis as their new captain. The announcement was made amid much fanfare at the ‘RCB Unbox’ event in Bengaluru.

Despite having several leadership experiences including a stint with the South African national team, this will be the first time the Proteas superstar will lead an IPL franchise.

This is a great opportunity to showcase his leadership qualities, especially for the player who joined the team only last month. Considering that the league does not have many overseas captains, he would hope to make the most of the opportunity in the upcoming season, starting March 26.

The 37-year-old has taken over the captaincy from Kohli but he still has one big regret going into the season. It has nothing to do with his new role in the franchise, but the reason is several years old.

In fact, du Plessis’s entry into RCB coincides with the departure of his dear friend AB de Villiers, who last year did not allow a fellow countryman to share the locker room with him in the world’s biggest T20 league.

Speaking at the press conference at ‘RCB Bar & Cafe’ later this week, the new captain of the Bengaluru-based outfit lamented the fact that he could not be a part of the franchise earlier. He further revealed that he and de Villiers always spoke about playing together for RCB but their wish could not see the light of day.

Du Plessis, answering a question from MensXP at the press conference, said, “Abby and I always talked about it. He said that it would be good that I can join him in RCB throughout my career. So, the timing is clearly not very good (because) now that I am here, he has decided to retire. And, also retired from international cricket three years ago.

“Unfortunately we will not play together. But it is good that one friend takes the place of another and there is something good in that story.”

Widely regarded as one of the greats of the game, de Villiers’ departure has left a huge void in RCB’s middle-order and it will not be easy to replace a player of his quality as he was one of a kind .

When asked how he would replace a player like ABD, the former South Africa captain admitted that there is no cricketer in the world who can replace AB.

The right-handed batsman even joked that he has a shoe size too big but it is not enough to match de Villiers’ feet. The RCB captain said that he knows very well that they are too big to fill the shoes and he will not even try to do so.

Praising the RCB legend, he said, “AB is a very big player. There is no cricketer in the world who can match him. I will never try to match them. He’s a great player.”

As Faf said, finding similar replacements for the same would be asking a lot, but that also doesn’t mean they can sit tight and wait for things to happen on their own.

Among other things, bridging the middle-order gap will be their top priority this season. If they find the answer, they will give themselves a strong chance to go deeper into the tournament and maybe even win a trophy they haven’t had in years.