Former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, the franchise announced on Saturday. Du Plessis will replace Indian superstar Virat Kohli, who surrendered RCB’s captaincy at the end of the previous season.

The Leader of the Pride is here!

Captain of RCB, @faf1307! 🔥#PlayBold #RCBCaptain #RCBUnbox #ForOur12thMan #UnboxTheBold

— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) March 12, 2022

Du Plessis will be the seventh cricketer to captain the Challengers, after Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori, Kohli and Shane Watson. Among them, Kohli has led the side in the maximum 140 matches with 64 wins and 69 losses, along with three ties and four no results.

Notably, this will be the first time when Du Plessis will captain an IPL team. However, he has led quite a few teams in the other leagues, Comilla Victorians, Paarl Rocks, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and St Lucia Kings. Du Plessis has in total captained 79 matches, with 43 wins, 34 losses, one tie and one no result.

The Pretoria-born was first picked up by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2011 IPL auction, but he made his debut in the next season. He played for the Super Kings from 2012 to 2015 and represented Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) when CSK was suspended for 2016 and 2017. Du Plessis was back with the MS Dhoni-led side from 2018 and played till 2021.

In the 2022 auctions, Du Plessis received a bid from the Super Kings as well, but the Challengers eventually roped him in for INR 7 Crore. So far, the 37-year-old has played 100 matches in the IPL, scoring 2935 runs at an average of 34.94 and a strike rate of 131.08, with 22 half-centuries.

Yet to win an IPL crown, the Challengers will begin their IPL 2022 campaign against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Mumbai on March 27.

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