Although Virat Kohli has been unarguably one of the most consistent figures in the international cricket circuit, both as a batsman and a captain. But when it comes to Indian Premier League (IPL), the 29-year-old has been quite unlucky with Royal Challenger Bangalore consistently finishing at the wrong end of the table. Nonetheless, that has not stopped Kohli from putting up brilliant individual performances.
With the competition just a month away, here are the three greatest knocks of Virat Kohli in IPL:
3113 vs KXIP, 2016
2016 was a blockbuster year for RCB as they managed to finish second in the points table and thus make it to the playoffs. Two players that played exceptionally well for them then were Virat Kohli (973) and AB de Villiers (687) who both topped the run-scoring charts. It is important to note that the gap between Indian skipper and his immediate contender, David Warner, was over 100 runs.
The highlight of Virat’s stunning performance came in the match against Kings XI Punjab. RCB got off to a blockbuster start with Gayle (73 runs off 32 balls) and Kohli teaming up to build formidable opening stand. Both the batsman outright dominated the bowlers, and with the overs limited down to 15 overs, they resorted to hitting big shots.
The duo garnered a huge 147 runs between them before Gayle bowed out. Virat kept fighting and hit a brilliant 113-runs from just 50 balls, scoring 63 runs in the last 22 balls. Kohli’s achievement was even more impressive since he had 9 stitches on his left hand going into the match. RCB went on to post a humongous 211 runs target, later winning the match by 82 runs.
292* vs Mumbai Indians, 2018
Chasing a 200+ total is not an easy task. Even the best teams fail to perform well as the pressure creeps in. This was exactly the case for Royal Challengers Bangalore. The team’s bowler’s had failed to stop Mumbai Indian’s batting onslaught in the first innings, with Rohit Sharma scoring a brilliant 94. The Indians had put a huge target of 214 for RCB to chase.
In reply, Virat decided to open the innings with Quinton de Kock. RCB even got off to a great start with 40-0. But then, as the run-rate rising, pressure started to build and wickets began to trickle.
While Kohli stuck to one end of the pitch, he didn’t get required support from the other end. He ultimately remained unbeaten at 92* from 63 balls with 7 fours and 4 sixes. However, that was not enough as RCB faced a 46-run-defeat. Nonetheless, it is this fighting spirit that makes this one of the best of Virat Kohli in IPL.
1109 vs Gujarat Lions, 2016
The newly introduced side Gujarat Lions had been at the receiving end of Kohli’s onslaught multiple occasions, ones that included two centuries.
It was his second hundred against them that is the most significant of all. However, unlike most of his outstanding knocks, this particular ton came in the first innings of the game.
Having been asked to bat first, the masterful batsman ably teamed up with his partner in crime, AB de Villiers to catapult the challengers to a humongous 248/3 in 20 overs.
Registering a mind-boggling strike rate of 198.18, Kohli’s 109 made him first and the only player to score a hattrick of 100-plus scores in a single edition of the tournament.