IPL 2022: I'm expecting Virat Kohli to score 600+ runs this season, says former RCB star
- Virat Kohli is not RCB’s captain anymore
- He is the leading run-scorer in the IPL
- RCB started off IPL 2022 with a loss
AB de Villiers expected former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli to score 600+ runs in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
After leading RCB for a decade, Kohli stepped down as the team's captain ahead of IPL 2022. RCB have pointed ex-South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis as Kohli's successor.
RCB are without their star batsman de Villiers, who retired from all forms of cricket at the end of last year's IPL. Kohli and de Villiers were RCB teammates for 11 long years. They shared several highs and lows together that only strengthened their bond over the years.
"Everyone knows about Faf du Plessis coming in as captain. I think the most exciting thing for me is Virat not being captain and releasing a bit of the pressure, really just going out there and freeing up. I am expecting a very big season from Virat. I am thinking 600+ runs from him this year," de Villiers said in an interview with VUSport Official.
With 6,324 runs in 208 matches, Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the IPL and the only batsman to have scored 6,000 or more runs in the tournament. He has scored five centuries and 42 fifties.
"I don't know what to expect (from RCB) but I expect some individuals to really rise in this IPL from the RCB setup," added de Villiers in the same interview.
While RCB have reached the IPL twice, they have not won the coveted trophy yet. RCB's last final came in 2016 under Kohli's captaincy, where they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Meanwhile, Kohli recently said that if RCB go on to win the IPL this season or in the coming ones, he'll be very emotional about de Villiers.
"I was thinking about him the other day that if we manage to win the title in the coming seasons, this one, next one, whatever it is. I would be very emotional thinking about him first, rather than you know what I would experience after such hard work of so many years.
I would actually think how much it would still mean to him, watching from home. He's a special human being, he's touched everyone's lives here, we can all vouch for that, he's been amazing. I don't think there's one person who can say AB has not contributed to my life some way or the other," Kohli said in a video posted by RCB.
De Villiers finished his IPL career with 4,697 runs in 157 innings at an average of 38.82 and strike rate of 154.10. He also is the second leading run-scorer for RCB after Kohli.
When de Villiers announced his retirement last year, Kohli had put up an emotional post for the Proteas player.
"You've given everything to RCB and I know that in my heart. What you mean to this franchise and to me cannot be put into words. The Chinnaswamy Stadium will miss cheering for you and I'm going to miss playing alongside you, my brother. I love you and I'll always be your number 1 fan. G.O.A.T @abdevilliers17," Kohli wrote in a social media post.
RCB started off IPL 2022 with a five-wicket loss to Punjab Kings (PBKS) at DY Patil Stadium on Sunday (March 27).