Du Plessis commands respect, says Kohli

Royal Challengers Banglore veteran Virat Kohli says Faf du Plessis’s solid leadership skills was a key reason that they planned to grab his services  for the upcoming IPL edition.

Kohli, who has been with Royal Challengers right from the first edition in 2008  and as full-time captain since 2013, relinquished captaincy after last year’s IPL.

RCB will now be led by four-time IPL winner Du Plessis, who was purchased by the franchise for Rs 7 crore in the mega auction last month.

“Getting Faf at the auctions for us, the plan was very clear. We need a leader in the change room who commands a lot of respect. Commands not demands, because he has been there done that,” Kohli said in video posted by RCB’s twitter handle.

“He’s a Test captain, that profile comes with a lot of accolades already and we are excited for him to lead RCB. He will do a tremendous job.

“We get along really well with him, all of us myself Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) Dinesh Karthik and I think all the guys will enjoy this tournament,” he added.

Kohli joined the RCB preparatory camp on Monday. The Indian batting veteran  had earlier said he made the decision to quit RCB captaincy as he wanted some space to manage his workload.

“It’s unbelievable IPL has come this far. (I’m here with) Renewed energy because I’m off a lot of responsibilities and duties and life is in a very good place. For me, it’s all about going about life with a lot of joy and happiness.

“My focus is so clear, it’s so precise what I want to do —  have a lot of fun and enjoy myself on the field and give myself fully to this team, like I have for many years, without any load.”

The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League is set to begin from Saturday with defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium here.