South African veteran AB de Villiers said captain Virat Kohli is “leading from the front” as Royal Challengers Bangalore look to shed their wooden-spooners tag in the Indian Premier League.
De Villiers said India skipper Kohli was inspiring much hard work in the build-up to the IPL’s start in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
“I think everyone has bought into this hard-working environment and a lot of credit should go to Virat for that,” De Villiers said in an interview posted on his team’s YouTube channel on Monday. “He leads by example, he sets the standards and it is pretty easy to follow when you have a captain leading from the front.”
Bangalore, who finished last of the eight teams in two of the past three seasons, begin their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai next Monday. Kohli, who took over as captain of the Bangalore team in 2013, has said he has “never felt so calm” entering an IPL season.
“It’s a tricky one because we say that (we’ll improve) every season. (But) I promise you, ‘it’s different’, that’s all I can tell you,” said de Villiers. “I won’t say we have got the best team. There is a different feel in the team that I can’t explain, but it is very exciting. Looking at the combinations there is back-up everywhere. And we have options for Virat to play the best XI.”
The Twenty20 tournament is being held in UAE because of the surge in coronavirus cases in India, which is the second worst-hit nation behind the United States.