‘Will do my best to ensure a successful season this time’: Faf du Plessis named new RCB captain

Former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League 2022, scheduled to kick start on March 26 in Mumbai, the franchise announced here on Saturday.

The veteran South Africa batsman replaces outgoing captain Virat Kohli, who has been the longest-serving captain of the team. Faf Du Plessis was signed at the recently concluded Mega Auction 2022 for a sum of Rs. 7 CR.

Expressing his delight at being appointed as RCB captain, Faf du Plessis said, “The opportunity to be the captain of a franchise like RCB is massive and a role I was glad to accept. The work is just going to begin as we try to build off the success the team has enjoyed in previous years. I would like to thank the RCB management and the coaching team for entrusting me with the role and I will do my best to ensure a successful season this time with the desired outcome.”

Du Plessis will become the seventh to captain the Royal Challengers, with Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori, Kohli and Shane Watson having led the team previously. Among them, Kohli has captained the side in most matches — 140 matches with 64 wins, 69 losses, three ties and four no results, with a win percentage of 48.16.

On the occasion, RCB chairman Prathmesh Mishra said, “We are excited to name Faf du Plessis as the new captain of RCB. I congratulate Faf and welcome him to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Faf was among our top priorities at the IPL auctions.

“Not only does he bring his great leadership skills to the team but is an experienced batter in the format and a proven campaigner in the IPL. We are confident that with this team, we embody our philosophy of Play Bold and deliver an entertaining brand of cricket to thousands of our fans across the country and around the globe.”

Meanwhile, Mike Hesson, Director of Cricket Operations, RCB said, “I would like to extend my best wishes to Faf du Plessis on being appointed as RCB captain. 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 a leader who leads by example is very inspiring to any team. His experience and inclusive style of leadership will certainly be crucial in maximizing the knowledge from all of the leaders within our RCB squad.

“Captaincy is not only about tactics it’s also about getting to know individuals and helping them achieve special things, we are confident that together with this group we can build on the success of this team in the season ahead”.

This will be Du Plessis’s first captaincy assignment in the IPL.

Talking about Du Plessis’s IPL history, he was picked up by Chennai Super Kings in the 2011 IPL auction but he made his IPL debut only in the following season. He played for the Super Kings from 2012 to 2015 and during the team’s two-year period of suspension, he represented Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 and 2017.

He was back with the Super Kings from 2018 to 2021, a period in which they won two titles. He also received a bid from the Super Kings in the mega auction earlier this year, but the Royal Challengers, who were involved in a fierce bidding battle with Delhi Capitals for Du Plessis, eventually roped him in for INR 7 crore.

Du Plessis has played 100 matches (93 innings) so far in the IPL, scoring 2935 runs at an average of 34.94 and a strike rate of 131.08, with 22 half-centuries. In the last four seasons of the IPL, he has scored 1640 runs in 47 innings, with 633 of those runs coming in 2021.

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