Watson named RCB's stand-in skipper

Bengaluru: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has been appointed interim captain of IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore after regular skipper Virat Kohli and his stand-in A B de Villiers were rendered unavailable due to injuries.

Royal Challengers Bangalore chairman Amrit Thomas announced that Watson will be the interim skipper of the franchise.

"Virat Kohli, the RCB Captain will be missing the first few matches of the VIVO Indian Premier League owing to an unfortunate shoulder injury," Thomas said in a statement.

"His presence on field is dependent on him passing the fitness tests and we hope for a strong recovery for him. In the interim, Shane Watson, will lead the RCB team as the stand-in captain," he added.

While Virat is nursing a shoulder injury, de Villiers has been laid low by a back problem.

Watson was the league's third highest wicket-taker in the previous edition.

"Shane has been one of the top performers and a great mentor for the team, making him an ideal choice to lead the team this season till Virat is back on field," Thomas said.

The team stated that Watson "will continue to lead even when AB de Villiers comes back in the first home game against the Delhi Daredevils".

Thomas also stated that Kohli will be with the team to "boost their morale off the field".

"Virat who is a core pillar of the RCB team will be working closely with the RCB coach Daniel Vettori and mentoring the team to make sure the team hitting the field on April 5 and beyond is well prepared and motivated to play bold like always," he said.