Mumbai: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s senior batter Virat Kohli has dropped a hint over the involvement of former teammate and ex-South Africa skipper AB de Villiers marking a return to the franchise next year “in some capacity”.
Kohli and de Villiers shared a great bonding while turning out for RCB for almost 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 at Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals).
He starred in 157 matches for Bangalore, scoring 4,522 runs at a strike rate of 158.33 and was also the overall second-highest run-scorer for the franchise after Kohli.
Missing him a lot
“I miss him [de Villiers] a lot. I speak to him regularly, quite regularly. He keeps messaging me — he was in the US 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 stay in touch — he is very keenly obviously watching RCB and, hopefully, here next year in some capacity,” said Kohli in a RCB insider video on Wednesday.
With Kohli stepping down from RCB captaincy after IPL 2021, Faf du Plessis, another former skipper of South Africa, was made the captain for the ongoing season. Under his leadership, Bangalore are at fourth place in points table, with 14 points from 12 matches.
“I and Faf have always gotten along really well even before we played together this season because he was the captain of South Africa for a while. Faf is a guy who is very sure of himself, and he has full authority on the field he tells me sometimes I mention things and tells me no I don’t want to do that, which I respect a lot because that obviously makes you gain respect for the person you are playing under,” stated Kohli on du Plessis.
“As I said, we have had mutual respect for many years and always had some nice conversations — pre-match, post-match. Yeah, there was always respect there but now I have gotten to know him much better and he’s a brilliant guy and yes obviously a very good-looking guy,” added Kohli.
IPL 2022 has seen Kohli struggle for scoring runs consistently, making just 216 runs in 12 matches at an average of 19.64 and strike rate of 111.34. It has also seen him bag three ducks, a rare unthinkable phenomenon for someone of Kohli’s stature.
Asked about his ducks in IPL 2022, Kohli jokingly replied, “First-ball ducks. After the second one, I actually realised what it feels like to be like you (Mr Nags’ character), absolutely helpless. It hasn’t happened to me ever in my career, I think. I have seen everything now. It’s been so long, I have seen everything in this game. The perks of loyalty are way more than the perks of captaincy.”