Shane Watson will be the interim captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) when the Indian Premier League (IPL) begins as Virat Kohli still recovers from a shoulder injury.
Kohli suffered a shoulder injury during India's 2-1 Test series win over Australia while diving to save a boundary in the third match, with the 28-year-old missing the decider in Dharamsala.
With the uncertainty over whether Kohli would feature, RCB coach Daniel Vettori had previously said that South Africa's AB de Villiers would stand in as the captain. However, he was ruled out of the opening game on 5 April against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to a back injury.
"He still has some minor discomfort and we felt that couple of days off would be best before we have him back in action," Vettori said, as quoted on ESPN. "We hope to see him on the field in good form by 8th April match against Delhi Daredevils."
Instead, former Australia all-rounder Watson will take over the reigns for the initial stages of the IPL.
"Virat Kohli, the RCB Captain will be missing the first few matches of the VIVO Indian Premier League owing to an unfortunate shoulder injury," team chairman Amrit Thomas said. "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. 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."
Watson brings a wealth of experience, having played a key role in the now suspended Rajasthan Royals' title-winning side of 2008. The 35-year-old also has 2,551 runs In 94 IPL games.
RCB begin their IPL campaign on 5 April against Sunrisers Hyderabad as they look to win the Twenty20 competition for the first time in the franchise's history.