Virat Kohli looks "stress free" without the burden of captaincy weighing him down, a dangerous sign for the opposition teams in IPL 2022, said his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Glenn Maxwell.
Kohli, who relinquished RCB captaincy after last year's IPL, has also resigned from T20 and Test captaincy while being removed from ODI leadership role. Faf du Plessis was named as the RCB captain for IPL 2022.
Maxwell believes that Kohli now is no longer the "in-your face" aggressive cricketer that he used to be and that has been pleasantly surprising.
"He knows he's handing the captaincy over, which I think is potentially a big burden for him. It might have been something that's been weighing him down for a while and now that he's been able to release it, it might be dangerous news for opposition teams," Maxwell told RCB Podcast.
The flamboyant Australian is happy that Kohli is in that phase when he would actually be enjoying being out there in thick of things.
"It is amazing for him to be relaxed a bit and actually enjoy the next few years of his career without any of that sort of external pressure. I think playing against him in earlier days, he was a fiery competitor, getting in your face. He's always trying to impose himself on the game. Impose himself on the opposition."
The Australian all-rounder is loving the cricketing conversations he is having with Kohli and is himself surprised that the former India skipper has become a close friend.
"Something I've noticed more from him this year is he's been really measured with his emotions. He's actually been really measured with his decision-making. He's certainly really surprised me and probably how close we've both gotten to each other as well this year. Being able to talk about the game in a calm manner," Maxwell said.
"Because you do see that over-excited, in your face style when you play against him. But to play with him and have really good conversations about the game, I've really enjoyed that."