IPL 2021: Virat Kohli reveals he discussed quitting RCB captaincy with AB de Villiers in 2019

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has revealed that he has discussed quitting the captaincy of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise with his close friend and teammate AB de Villiers in 2019. Kohli said he wanted to continue after Mike Hesson came on board, prompting a structural change in the management of the RCB.

Notably, Kohli had announced last month that he would give up the captaincy of RCB after IPL 2021, days after he said he would be stepping down as India captain in the T20Is after the T20 World Cup.

The Delhiite cited his workload management and that he wanted to focus more on Tests and ODIs in the near future as the reason.

“About this decision, I had spoken to AB in 2019. It’s not new. With the IPL, I was always in a space where I wanted to create a peaceful environment.. We had this discussion and then I thought we will give it one more year. A restructuring of the management happened and things were much better in 2020. I felt a little more relaxed in that stage,” Virat Kohli said to Star Sports.

The Virat Kohli-led RCB have reached the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

AB de Villiers, on the other hand, said that he loved playing under Kohli’s captaincy and will try to do his best to help Kohli finish his captaincy stint on a high by winning the trophy in IPL 2021.

“Virat Kohli has had an unbelievable run as captain. I am privileged to play under him. I have been a fan of him letting it go for the last few years purely because of the pressure he has taken on board over the years with the Indian team and the IPL.

I felt that this could be an environment where he could have a little bit of fun. Sort of step away from Indian cricket and have a little bit of fun in the T20s in the IPL with all the friends and then go into the high-pressure environment with India in all the formats,” De Villiers said.

“That’s been the chat for the last couple of years. It’s got nothing to do with his ability as captain. We all know that, he has been unbelievable for us. He has always led from the front and made the best possible decisions for the team and I think he has had a fantastic run. I would absolutely love to put the cherry on the cake and finish the season with a trophy,” he said.

RCB will look to win their maiden IPL title and give captain Virat Kohli a fairytale ending to his leadership stint.