South Africa’s AB de Villiers hailed Virat Kohli as a fantastic captain for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after admitting that the Delhi-born batsman has proved his mettle since taking over the reins from Daniel Vettori, who was the previous captain of the IPL franchise. He also spoke about the added pressure the two batsman face during the IPL. 

The India cricket captain became the most expensive player in IPL history when RCB shelled out INR 17.5 crores ($2.6 million) to retain his services for the next three years in 2018. He has been with the Bangalore franchise since the first edition of the most popular Twenty20 tournament in the world.

Since his debut in 2008, Kohli has gone on to become one of the biggest names in world cricket, and is already being referred to as one of the greatest limited overs cricketers in the history of the game. The Delhi batsman’s record of 56 centuries in Tests and One Day International’s is only bettered by the great Sachin Tendulkar and it is possible that the current Indian skipper can match the Master Blaster’s record.

Kohli also became the highest run scorer in the history of the IPL during RCB’s recent loss to the Mumbai Indians. RCB have never won the IPL despite making the final on three occasions, but, still start the season as one of the favorites owing to the presence of Kohli and de Villiers.

The South African batting sensation, who is a crowd favorite all across India, believes Kohli has proved his mettle as a captain in the last four seasons. de Villiers also addressed talks which suggest the Bangalore franchise’s fortunes rest purely on the two talented batsmen.

Any team taking on RCB in the IPL will look to get one or both, de Villiers and Kohli, dismissed at the earliest, as they are aware of their destructive power with the bat. The dependence on the duo is certain to put extra pressure, but the former South Africa skipper denied they feel added pressure from the team to perform in every match and believes the RCB outfit is filled with a number of match winners, who need to share the load during the course of the season.

“The true judge of a good captain is when you don't perform well and still do a good job while leading a side. He has come through with flying colors when it comes to that. He has been a fantastic captain for us," de Villiers said prior to their match against the Chennai Super Kings, as quoted by the Times of India.

"It is normal to feel pressure because we are international players. However, I don't feel extra pressure, I don't think Virat feels it either. We have a team of match-winners and it is up to us to share the load,” the South African batsman added.

RCB have won just two matches out of five this season and are currently sixth on the table. In both the matches in which they batted second, de Villiers was the top scorer with Kohli playing an important role in helping the team over the line.

The Bangalore-based team’s next assignment is against the MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings, who are second on the table having won four of their five games. The match will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday — with live TV coverage in the United States available on Willow TV and the Hotstar app — the match starts at 10.30 a.m. EDT.