Mumbai, May 11: Royal Challengers Bangalore senior batsman Virat Kohli has dropped a hint about the involvement of his former teammate and former South Africa captain AB de Villiers, which marks a return to the franchise next year “to some extent”.
Kohli and de Villiers shared a great bond while working for RCB for nearly a decade before the latter announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in November last year. De Villiers’ association with RCB began in 2011 after spending three seasons with the Delhi Daredevils (now the Capitals).
He starred in 157 games for the RCB, scoring 4,522 runs with a strike rate of 158.33 and was also the RCB’s second highest run scorer after Kohli.
“I miss him (de Villiers) a lot. I talk to him regularly, quite regularly. He keeps messaging me, he was in the States recently watching golf, Augusta Masters is what I heard it was called. So, he told me he was there experiencing it with his friends and family. We keep in touch – he’s obviously very keen to see RCB and hopefully he’ll be here next year in some capacity,” Kohli said in a RCB video on Wednesday.
With Kohli stepping down from the RCB captaincy after the 2021 IPL, Faf Du Plessis, another former South Africa captain, was named captain for the current season. Under his leadership, Bangalore is fourth in the points table with 14 points from 12 games.
“Faf and I have always gotten along very well even before we played together this season because he was South Africa’s captain for a while. Faf is a guy who is very sure of himself and has all the authority on the pitch.” He says. sometimes I mention things and he tells me no, I don’t want to do that, which I respect a lot because it obviously makes you gain respect for the person you’re playing with,” Kohli said of du Plessis.
“Like I said, we respected each other for many years, even before he played for RCB because he was the captain of South Africa and we always had some nice conversations – before and after the game. Yes, there was always respect there, but now I’ve met him. much better and he’s a brilliant guy and yeah obviously a very handsome guy,” added Kohli.
IPL 2022 has seen Kohli consistently struggle to score runs, managing just 216 runs in 12 matches at an average of 19.64 and a strikeout rate of 111.34. He has also seen him pack three ducks, a rare phenomenon unthinkable for someone of Kohli’s stature.
When asked about his ducks at IPL 2022, Kohli jokingly replied, “First ball ducks. After the second, I realized what it feels like to be like you (Mr. Nags’ character), absolutely defenseless. It’s never happened to me I think never in my career. I’ve seen it all now. It’s been so long, I’ve seen it all in this game. The perks of loyalty are so much more than the perks of captaincy.”