IPL

Kohli 'much more relaxed' after relinquishing RCB captaincy

By Sports Desk March 26, 2022

Virat Kohli feels "much more relaxed" without the responsibility of being captain ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore's opening game against Punjab Kings on Sunday.

Kohli relinquished the captaincy at the end of the 2021 IPL and Faf du Plessis has been charged with the task of replacing him.

The former India skipper is in no doubt it was a wise decision to step down from a role he had held since 2013.

He told RCB's official website: "It's a good change; I'm much more relaxed.

"The same excitement of coming to practice and just focusing on my skills and what I need to do as a batter, looking forward to these sessions is something that I used to experience very regularly before.

"Not that you don't focus on it, but somewhere when you have other responsibilities, that tends to kind of take a back seat, and over a period of time when you do it over and over again, and your mind is only running in one direction, then you can tend to lose that joy to come and practice.

"For me, that's always been the essence of playing cricket and something that I've always wanted for it to be alive within me. And I certainly feel that joy of purely coming here and hitting the ball again."

Kohli says he can see things from a different perspective without being captain, but will still be a leader.

He said: "I see it from a very different point of view. When you take a decision like this, a lot of people go, 'One should look at things from a point of responsibility and you have to take responsibility'. 

"And people don't understand that if you as a player cannot be the best version of yourself on the field, then that responsibility for me personally as a player means nothing."

Kohli added: "You can still be a leader within the team, drive the team forward towards success and winning trophies and titles, but I take a lot of pride in contributing for the team.

"If something, I feel, is pushing that joy down, that fun factor of just playing cricket, and just looking forward to doing something special on the field.

"If anything is coming in between that, and having the knowledge that you do have people who have able minds to be able to take the team forward, then I think it’s a wise thing for anyone to create some space for themselves.

"Just take a deep breath and restructure things and say, 'Hold on, I might not have looked at a lot of things that I need to work on, and here's a chance for me to restructure, rethink about what I want to do', and just find things to improve, find a little bit at practice something that you look forward to. That is something I’ve experienced in this phase."

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