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‘It is Pretty Apparent’: Mike Hesson Explains Why Virat Kohli Gave up RCB Captaincy

Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore may have come as a shock but the upside of that is his batting is expected to improve since the extra burden of leadership will have been lifted from his shoulders, feels the franchise’s Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson.

On Saturday in Bengaluru, RCB announced South African Faf du Plessis as their new captain for the upcoming season that starts later this month.

Hesson praised Kohli’s commitment to the franchise and explained that the cricketer wanted to take a break from the high-pressure role and now just wants to enjoy his role as a batter, a decision his team respects.

“Virat has given absolutely everything to this franchise as a captain,” Hesson said.

“He has given his heart and soul. It is pretty apparent that when you resign from a role, you want a break. He wants to enjoy his time at RCB as a senior player and as a batsman and we are very respectful of that as well.”

Hesson also revealed that Du Plessis’ name as a potential captaincy candidate was endorsed by Kohli himself.

“Just because the situation has changed within here doesn’t mean that the (Kohli) situation has changed in terms of him wanting to come and win games for RCB. We spoke to Virat about the leadership options and Faf was someone he was really excited about. I have also leaned on AB de Villiers for his thoughts as well,” Hesson said.

Kohli though has been battling a slump. Despite his healthy returns, the India batting superstars hasn’t been able to score a century across formats since November 2019.

Hesson said since Kohli continues to be counted among world’s top batters is enough proof of his contributions despite the absence of a century.

“Virat has set a standard that’s very hard to maintain,” Hesson said. “His ability to convert is second to none. So when he doesn’t convert for a period of time, we start to worry. So when he gets 1, he will get 3 or 4. The fact that he’s still rated in the top 5 Test players in the world suggests that he is still getting pretty good output in terms of his runs.”

“He is still scoring hard runs, which can often be underestimated. The fact that he’s not going to captain RCB this year will allow him to play with a bit more freedom,” he added.

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