Faf du Plessis has been appointed captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022), the franchise announced during a press conference at the RCB Bar & Cafe on Saturday.
RCB bid Rs 7 crore for du Plessis, who was with the defending champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) until last year, during the auction. The South African right-hander was pivotal in CSK's title victory in 2021 - racking up 633 runs - to finish the second-highest run-getter. du Plessis was also the leading run-scorer for Chennai in IPL 2020.
“The opportunity to be the captain of a franchise like RCB is massive and a role I was glad to accept... I can see that shift of Virat’s captaincy footprint in the Indian team. He built a competitive, fit side that was fighting fire with fire. His strong leadership rubs off on the young players and even if he is not the captain, the energy that he brings along to the team is hugely important for us. So we’ll be looking to try and use that as best as we can,” du Plessis said during the 'RCB Unbox' event.
"As a leader of the team, I’ll look to lead from the front and make sure we turn out to be the best. Also important for me is to reach out to the youngsters and make sure I can run just as far and as fast as them. Besides, there are some fantastic leaders in our group and it would be stupid of me not to use their brains in terms of decision-making,” he added.
The 37-year-old made his IPL debut in 2012 with the Super Kings and has been with the side since, except in 2016 and 2017, when he turned out for the Rising Pune Supergiant following CSK's two-year ban from the league.
With 100 matches and 2935 runs in the IPL, du Plessis' class and experience will be crucial for his team in 2022.
Although du Plessis is signing up for a leadership role in the IPL for the first time, he has led his national side to success on multiple occasions in the limited-overs format between 2012-19, recording a 63.51 per cent success rate in Twenty20 Internationals.
Speaking about du Plessis' appointment, Mike Hesson, RCB's Director of Cricket Operations, said: “Faf is not only a world class player, but he has also shown tremendous ability to lead on the international stage in all three formats of the game. His contribution on the field is eminent but he is also a leader who leads by example.”
du Plessis takes over from Virat Kohli, who stepped down as RCB captain after the last edition. The news came three days after Kohli had announced that he would be giving up the captaincy of India's T20I team at the end of the World Cup in October-November. Kohli became the regular captain at Royal Challengers in 2013; he has been a part of the franchise as a player since the inception of the IPL in 2008.
Under Kohli, RCB won 64 of its 140 matches while losing 69.
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