The last that the famous RCB saw Virat Kohli in IPL as their captain, the franchise’s own form was quite lukewarm, Faf du Plessis hadn’t yet moved to Bangalore donning the quintessential red and Arjun Tendulkar hadn’t made his much-awaited debut.
To be precise, King Kohli remained the southern outfit’s captain until 2021.
But this time around, as Virat Kohli in IPL became the captain for his famous Bangalore franchise yet again, albeit on a one-off occasion, there were runs on the board, aggressive leadership was evident over the vanquished Punjab side and the end result tilted towards the right hander.
All that Faf, top scorer for the side as also for the countless fans could do, was to simply sit back and appreciate the Virat Kohli show.
Though, this was a Kohli show with a marked difference; in producing 59 of his outfit’s 174 team runs, the Delhi-born cricket legend authored one more cricket record in his name, this time a mega IPL achievement.
In the process of compiling that 47-ball-effort, which led to a forty seventh half century in the mega T20 series, Virat Kohli in IPL became the first ever batter to register a 30+ score for a hundredth occasion.
There are days when you strike a conventional hundred and Virat Kohli in IPL has seen many such days; with five tons to his name already.
And then, there are days like the Thursday of April 20, 2023, where you do end up scoring a hundred despite actually not scoring a hundred on that particular occasion.
Truth be told, much like a fifty in a one day game, a thirty-plus inning in an IPL contest too has its significance; it’s an effort that is rated and generally talked about in good stead.
And in becoming the first batsman ever to register a hundredth 30 plus score in the IPL, Virat Kohli, it ought to be said, has blazed a trail for many to follow.
Here is how his numbers stack up at the moment.
Another 156 runs later and given his genuine form at the moment, they can probably come in this season itself, Virat Kohli would have become the first batsman to scale 7000 runs in the Indian Premier League.
Should he get there- and it truly is a matter of when, not if- Virat Kohli will garland himself with yet more respect and plaudits, all of which are a testimony to his grit and willingness to improve.
For someone who was there in the IPL since its inception and then to have come such a long way, one of the best batsmen in the world is basically doing what he does for a living, which is scoring runs for fun.
There was a time, it ought to be remembered, where Virat Kohli in IPL struck no fewer than 1,000 tournament runs. In so doing, he created yet another mountain of runs that was as inspiring as it was arduous.
Surely, while there may still be those who perhaps can’t come to terms with his overly passionate self on the field, but as India’s head coach Rahul Dravid once said, it’s not necessary for every cricketer to be reticent; the aggression and honest self expression are things that, quite frankly, spur on Virat Kohli.
As for the trollers, they can engage in all the pettiness in the world subjecting the member of world cricket’s elite Fab Four to unbecoming names, but there really is no stopping Virat Kohli in IPL.
He’s still very much the beast he once was with the bat. Aged 34 with 228 IPL appearances to his name and a rather emotional captaincy streak to his name, this beast still has plenty to offer.
Keep going o gorgeous creator of the cover drive!