Thu. Jun 13th, 2024


The Indian Premier League (IPL) action is slowly peaking as most teams have played two matches each. While this is too early to take a call. some teams have impressed while others have been slow-starters. Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis‘ Royal Challengers Bangalore started with a win against Mumbai Indians. The win brought a smile on AB de Villers’s face, who was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, and he wants the side to all the way. However, he has predicted the Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans to win the IPL 2023.

“Very difficult one. A long time ago, during the IPL auction, I had said that Gujarat Titans are going to go back-to-back. I am going to stick to that, even though I really want RCB to win. Since last year I have felt that they have a really great team, very well-balanced. They have enough power. Hopefully, RCB goes all the way,” AB de Villiers told NDTV, when asked to predict a possible winner.

AB de Villiers says Virat Kohli has appeared relaxed and happy this season after giving away captaincy roles with the Indian Premier League franchise and also with the national team. Kohli, who scored an unbeaten 82 to power his IPL side to an eight-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in their season-opener, stepped down from the RCB captaincy after the 2021 season, around the same time he made his exit as the skipper of the Indian team across formats.

“I have not seen much change, everything is similar. The technique looks solid; he has got good balance at the crease. He is still that ‘busy’ player with a lot of energy at the wicket. I just feel, this season he has come in looking really fresh. I have seen some of his interviews where he is laughing more than ever…,” de Villiers told the media when asked what change he has noticed in Kohli’s batting in recent years.

“I think letting the captaincy go last season played a big role in him relaxing. He was a fantastic captain but he did it for a long period of time both internationally and also at the IPL which can be daunting. You never get time off to chill or spend with family or have a laugh with some friends. I think that is his mantra for this season, just to go out and have fun, keep smiling,” de Villiers, who is an IPL expert with Jio Cinema, added.

With PTI inputs

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