AB de Villiers has lavished high praise on Virat Kohli saying the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain leads by example and makes it easier to follow as he is always leading from the front.

RCB start their quest for a maiden IPL title when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 21 in Dubai.

Both Kohli and De Villiers have been upbeat about RCB’s chances this time around.

“It is great to be here (UAE),” De Villiers said on RCB’s Bold Diaries. “I am feeling better than ever. We have worked so hard, we have a good work ethic, it really feels like everyone has bought into this hard-working environment.”

He continued, “The credit goes to Virat. He leads by example, he sets new standard. It is pretty easy to follow when you have a captain, who is always leading from the front. His influence has been fantastic and I am looking forward to see the final product of this hard work.”

A majority of the cricketers will be playing in their first competitive match since the coronavirus outbreak in March and De Villiers said it’s natural to have feelings of uncertainty and doubts after such a long break.

“It is natural to get breaks in the sports, sometimes the schedule allows a period of no cricket for two months or more. Sometimes injuries happen and you are out for five or six months, when you are in the best form of your life. I know that feeling of coming back from a big break very well,” he said.

“The feeling of uncertainty and doubts, ‘Will I be able to reach that level again?’ It is normal to have a feeling like that. It’s amazing how you can get back into the groove and find that confidence into yourself, nothing guarantees a good performance, but that’s the beauty of the sport, you never know what to expect,” he explained.

The team has made the finals thrice but finished runners-up on all occasions but endured a horrible season last year finishing with the wooden spoon.

However, the South African superstar is hopeful this year.

“It is a tricky question. Every season, we say that this is the best team. I won’t say that ‘this is the best team.’ But believe me, this time around, it is a different feel to the team. We are excited and we have many back up plans for every spot and have many options as well,” he said.

“The coach has options, Virat has many of them to really find the best XI in the tournament. It is not like that AB is going to play every game. There are options in every department, batting, bowling and fielding. You name it and we have it,” he added.

The 36-year-old also praised BCCI for getting things in order for an event of such scale in a short time despite the health scare.

“We are also very happy to be here. We got the clarity about the IPL taking place about a month ago from RCB and obviously BCCI did some fantastic work to get everything approved. They have done a commendable work to get the IPL going and we are all very excited,” he said.