'Sometimes when a player is relieved of the burden of captaincy, he flourishes as he is not thinking about 10 other players.'
With the change in leadership at Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2022 might get to see the Virat Kohli from the 2016 season when he amassed over 900 runs, reckons former India captain Sunil Gavaskar.
The spotlight, though, will remain on Kohli when he takes to the field only as a player in RCB's opening match against Punjab Kings at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai Stadium on Sunday.
"At the moment, we do not know whether Kohli will be captain again. Sometimes when a player is relieved of the burden of captaincy, he flourishes as he is not thinking about 10 other players," Gavaskar said on Star Sports' show Gameplan.
"When you are captain, you are thinking about 10 other players and sometimes also the other members of your squad, about their form or lack of form and things that they are not doing right which when they do it right, will be good for the team.
"This season, we might actually see the Kohli of 2016 where he got almost 1000 runs in the IPL season."
The last time Kohli was not leading the RCB was in 2012, after which he took over the team's captaincy from New Zealander Daniel Vettori.
Speaking about star Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, Gavaskar said, "Maxwell's cricket depends on how he approaches every inning. There are times when his approach has been unbelievably fantastic and then there are times it has not been that great.
"Last season, he was in a team with Virat Kohli and ABD (AB de Villiers), two of the finest batsmen that the game has seen and so maybe he lifted his game. He raised the level of his game to try to keep up with that.
"If he says to himself I am going to do what ABD has done for RCB, then RCB could be in for a real magic season from Maxwell."