Royal Challengers Bangalore are enjoying success under their new skipper Faf du Plessis's leadership as they have won 5 games out of the 7 that they have played so far in the IPL 2022. The South African batter is one of the most consistent batters in the IPL and is astute with his captaincy skills.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most popular teams in the Indian Premier League. The team might not have won an IPL title so far but they have had a rich legacy of players who have played in the franchise. Legends like Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Daniel Vettori are some of the names that have captained the side which shows the brand of cricket that the side has played over the years. The franchise has a very loyal and massive fan base who have stuck by their side irrespective of the result. The team in return has also given some of the most exciting matches in the Indian Premier League.
After Daniel Vettori's tenure as RCB captain, a young Virat Kohli was handed over the responsibility in 2013 and he led then till the 2021 season. Virat Kohli's energy on the field used to light up the Chinnaswamy stadium in every game that he played. It seemed like Kohli was a born leader when he was captaining the RCB and made sure his team fought back even in the toughest of situations. Those years were also the ones where he started rising through the ranks both as captain and as a batter. Kohli used to enjoy the leadership role and with every passing season from 2013 onwards he kept doing better as a batter. The 2016 season is the highlight of his IPL career as he led his side to the IPL final that year and was also the top-run scorer with 976 runs which included 4 centuries. No other batter has been able to break Kohli's record of 2016 as a batter. But, Kohli was unable to do what his counterparts like MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and David Warner were able to achieve. That was winning the IPL trophy.
In 2021, Virat Kohli decided to step down from RCB captaincy and it was the team management's job to search for a new guy. With AB de Villiers retiring from cricket RCB did not have many options within the team. So, they waited for the IPL mega-auction which took place in February 2021. The management had come out with a plan and they knew who they wanted as their new skipper. It was Faf du Plessis who the franchise went after and after a bidding war with the Chennai Super Kings, they bought the South African for INR 7 crore which in my opinion, is a steal.
Faf du Plessis has a proven track record as captain of the South African team and has also done well in the Indian Premier League for many seasons. The right-handed batter is one of the best batters in CSK's history and his ability to stay calm in high-pressure situations is what sets him apart from the rest both as a batter and a leader. Faf has played 107 matches in the IPL so far and amassed 3,185 runs with an average of 35.00 and a strike rate of 131.18.
All this body of work and experience that the Proteas batter has had over the years is what attracted RCB to go for him in the IPL mega-auction in 2022. This is the reason why the RCB management and senior players like Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell were in favour of having Faf du Plessis as the leader of the side for the upcoming seasons.
The South African since his arrival has been on point when it comes to his captaincy. He has led his team to a brilliant start in IPL 2022 as after the completion of 7 games, RCB has won 5 matches and with 10 points sits at number 4 on the points table. They have a very real chance of qualifying for the playoffs this season and even could be favourites to win the title if they can continue like this.
The thing that stands out the most for Faf du Plessis is his form with the bat. Faf has matured over the years and understands the game so well now that he knows that if he stays at the crease and manages to play 20 overs, he will put his team in a position from where they will be able to win the game. The batting has been a bit of a problem for the RCB this season as with the departure of Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli struggling with his form, the South African alongside Dinesh Karthik has been made to do the heavy lifting.
But what sets Faf du Plessis apart is his ability to understand his players and get the best out of them and also trust that he has on his own skill. The 96-run knock against Lucknow Super Giants is a testament to the class that he possesses. RCB had lost four wickets for 65 runs on a pitch that looked good for batting.
Even then, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis curbed his natural instincts and kept knocking the ball around to make sure they build a partnership. Once he was set, he smashed the LSG bowlers all around the ground and made sure his side ended up scoring 181/6 which proved to be match-winning.
Faf as skipper of the RCB has led his side from the front. he has brilliant as a fielder and he keeps raising the bar when it comes to bat. He has also been spot on with his bowling changes and choked up the opposition for runs by making sure he is using his bowlers in a smart way. He has awareness of the match-ups which prove to be very frustrating for RCB's opponents and makes the batters play rash shots when the run rate climbs.
The RCB captain's calm demeanour and the ability to handle pressure might just be what the franchise needed after Kohli stepped down. This could well be RCB's season if Faf du Plessis keeps performing like this both as skipper and a batter.