IPL 2022: Faf du Plessis, the catalyst of change at RCB, is leading from the front


When Faf du Plessis was appointed as the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, he had big responsibility on his shoulders to bring new culture, style and more importantly more success to the franchise, and the South African has led from the front in making RCB a title contender in the ongoing IPL 2022.

Ahead of the beginning of the season, RCB made a big move in bringing du Plessis in to replace Virat Kohli as captain. The South African was bought by the RCB for Rs seven crore at the mega auction and was later appointed as the new skipper of the franchise.

Well, the management may have made the decision at the right juncture, but it took a bit of time for the team’s fans to register and lock in their minds that the Proteas batter has taken over the reins. But with his impactful batting at the top and his decisive leadership skills, the veteran cricketer has already won the hearts of RCB fans and the trust of the management.

RCB have won five matches out of the seven that they have played this season and are at the second spot on the table with 10 points.

Under Kohli’s leadership, RCB were one of the most popular teams in the IPL. They had star-studded playing line-up over the years and most of them used to win matches for RCB with their individual brilliance, but somehow they have failed to win a title for them.

Now, the beauty of the team currently led by du Plessis is that they are now not dependent on one or two individuals for their win and the team is playing like a collective unit. Yes, there are stars like Kohli and Maxwell in the RCB, but it’s the lesser-known players, who have punched above their weight and du Plessis has played a vital role in getting the best out of them.

Often, it’s said that a leader is as good as his team, but in cricket a good captain is the main decision maker and should know how to optimise his resources. The likes of Rohit Sharma (5 titles), MS Dhoni (4 titles) and Gautam Gambhir (2 titles) have already proved that with their leadership skills in the past.

Du plessis — The Captain

There are a few important qualities — like commanding respect, skills to get the best out of every individual, positive communication skills, strategic intelligence and taking accountability — which are often seen by the experts or pundits of the game to judge a captain and Faf has almost ticked all these boxes quite well so far.

Whether it’s his batting at the top-order and scoring bulk of runs for RCB, rotating his bowlers well, holding his nerves under tense situations, Faf has led from the front for the franchise this season, and deservingly has earned the respect from his team-mates.

RCB have always been a batting-heavy side but it’s often the bowling which has let them down over the years. But the situation has changed this season and Faf has used the likes of Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mohammed Siraj cleverly to restrict the opposition batters.

For example, Siraj who is clearly not having his best IPL season, is being used in the powerplay and middle overs, while in-form Harshal and Hazlewood have been given the task of bowling the crucial death overs. The RCB skipper has also used Hasaranga at different stages of the games, keeping in mind the opposition batters.

Other spinners — Shahbaz and Maxwell — have also chipped in with impactful performances during middle overs with the ball for RCB.

Du plessis — The Batter

The veteran batter from South Africa started his IPL journey with CSK and played for them till the last season. The right-handed batter played an all-important knock in the final of the 2021 edition of the league, scoring 86 runs off 59 deliveries. Overall, he scored 633 runs in that season and played a crucial role in CSK’s fourth title win.

And, he is exactly on the same path for RCB as well, scoring 250 runs in seven matches.

Faf started his journey as RCB captain with a sensational knock of 88 runs in his very first match for them. However, he had scores of 5, 29, 16, 8, 8 in the next five matches before he made a roaring comeback with an innings of 96 runs in RCB’s last game and led them to victory.

He is opening the batting with youngster Anuj Rawat, who hasn’t been consistent enough so far with the bat while Virat, who bats at No 3, has been far from his best and Maxwell has joined RCB late due to his wedding. So, automatically, the situation puts more pressure on du Plessis but he hasn’t let it affect his captaincy.

Unlike the previous season where the big names like Kohli and AB de Villiers used to score bulk of runs for RCB, it’s the veteran Dinesh Karthik and dependable Shahbaz Ahmed, who have bailed the Faf-led side out of trouble. Karthik, who has played for many franchises in the past, perhaps has saved his best for RCB. He has been in sensational form in the ongoing IPL season and has already shown his ambition to play for the country again.

RCB skipper is also mighty pleased with DK’s performance with the bat in IPL 2022.

“The way DK is playing at the moment, I may sound like a broken record, but he is playing the best he has ever. He is so clear, calm, and composed. We considered batting first tonight, but the dew is a factor,” said Faf about Karthik.

Overall, whether it’s batting, bowling or fielding, RCB are looking like a side to beat this year and du Plessis certainly has a massive role in that. The best thing a captain can do is give clarity to players about their roles in the side and it seems the South African has done it exceptionally.



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