Virat Kohli, after leading the side for a decade, will represent the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022 as a pure batsman. Even though the team managemnet has time and again reiterated that the league’s leading run-scorer is a key part of their leadership group, Kohli admitted that he is ‘off a lot of responsibilities’. 

RCB will kick off their IPL 2022 campaign against the Mayank Agarwal’s Punjab Kings on March 27.  

Kohli’s stint as RCB captain ended without a single IPL title. The team had their best shot in 2016 when they were defeated by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. The former Bangalore skipper was the season’s highest run scorer. He had amassed 973 runs at a whopping average of 81.08. The 33-year-old hit four centuries and seven fifties in 2016. 

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With captaincy no longer a burden, Kohli, who no longer leads India in any format, will look to emulate a 2016-like show this season. 

Talking about the clarity of role he has this season, Kohli,  in a video posted on the official YouTube channel of RCB, said, “Wow. 15 years, it’s quite unbelievable that the IPL has come this far. Renewed energy because I am off a lot of responsibilities and duties. Life is in a very good place, we have a child now, we have a family. It’s about watching my child grow and doing what I love that is playing cricket. My focus is so clear now and it is so precise on what I want to do.”

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Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma are parents to Vamika, who was born in January last year. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this month named Faf du Plessis as their new captain. The former Proteas skipper was picked by the side for Rs 7 crore in the mega auction. 

Talking about Du Plessis, Kohli said that he is excited to play under the South Africa. 

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“I am absolutely ready. I messaged him as soon as he was picked by RCB. Sounded him a little bit on what’s to come. I knew getting Faf in the auction, the plan was very clear. We needed a leader who commands a lot of respect in the dressing room. He has been a Test captain; the profile comes with a lot of accolades already. Absolutely excited for him to lead RCB this year, we get along really well,” Kohli added. 

RCB Squad: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Faf du Plessis (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahamad, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudessai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Luvnith Sisodia, David Willey.