Kohli’s grit and determination guide RCB into the ‘play-offs” : Skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Team India Test squad, Virat Kohli, has gone on to establish the fact that sheer ‘grit and determination’, can ‘take you places’ and do wonders.
He has, almost single-handedly, heralded RCB from nowhere to the second position in the points table.
RCB now occupies the second slot, just behind Gujarat Lions, with 16 points from 14 games at the completion of the round robin league stage. Though RCB share the same point with Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), they are ahead of these two teams on the Net Run Rate. RCB ended the league stage with a NRR of +0.932, while SRH with +0.245 and KKR with +0.106 occupy the third and fourth slots.
Debutant team, Gujarat Lions (GL), led by Suresh Raina, performed excellently in the league and occupy the top slot with 18 points, winning 9 out of the 14 games played.
Nothing seems to deter the young, confident and stubborn Virat Kohli, when it comes to wielding the bat.
Leading his team, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) into IPL 2016 with the weakest bowling attack, he had to rely on his batsmen to do the job for him. He has led from the front in the batting department and has clearly redefined the batting and set a very high standard in the shortest format of the game.
With a tally of 919 runs from 14 innings at an average of 91.90 and a strike rate of 152.40 in the ongoing tournament and remaining unbeaten on 4 occasions, Kohli is the Orange Cup holder, as of now.
A team cannot ask for more from a batsman. Kohli also has notched up 4 centuries and 6 half-centuries in the process. The closest to him is David Warner, skipper of SRH, with a tally of 658 runs in equal number of innings, at an average of 54.83, remaining unbeaten on 2 occasions. Warner also has a century and 7 half-centuries to his credit.
Kohli bettered the record of maximum runs in a season, earlier held by his team-mate and opening partner, Chris Gayle, who had scored 733 runs from 14 games in 2014.
Incidentally he becomes the leading run-scorer in IPL, notching up 4,056 runs overtaking his Team India mate, Suresh Raina.
Kohli’s team, Royal Challengers Bangalore, were languishing at the bottom half of the table when the tournament was half way through, winning just 2 games out of the first 7 games played.
Ironically their icon batsman Chris Gayle had to miss a few games on personal grounds. However, Kohli and de Villiers rose to the occasion and ‘upped the ante’.
However, by a turn of events and with the batting abilities of Kohli, de Villiers and Gayle, they went on to win 6 games out of the next 7 games played. These wins helped the team to move to the second position on the Points Table with 16 points from 14 games and a positive NRR of 0.932.
A calm, composed Kohli, whose aggression is well held within him and not displayed on the face, has clearly redefined the art of scoring runs in the shortest format of the game.
Playing against Delhi Daredevils in their final league encounter at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium, Raipur, RCB knocked DD out of the tournament by handing them over a defeat by 6 wickets with 11 deliveries to spare.
Putting DD into bat, the RCB bowlers, especially the young leggie, Yuzvendra Chahal, were successful in restricting DD to a small total of 138 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 20 overs.
Except for the wicket-keeper-opener, Quinton de Kock, who notched up a well made 60 runs off 52 balls, with 5 fours and a six, no other batsman could make any significant contribution.
After occupying the crease for 16 overs, de Kock was done in by a Chahal delivery, the first of the 17th over, a flatter one outside the off-stump which de Kock succeeded only in tapping it to Chris Jordan at long-off, who made no mistake.
However, the television replays showed Chahal overstepped the popping crease, but the third umpire, VK Sharma, had a different view point and ruled de Kock ‘OUT’.
Trying to add some more runs to the kitty, Chris Morris tried some heroics and with his own contribution of 27 runs off 18 deliveries with 3 fours, took the team’s tally to 138 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 20 overs.
Quinton’s half century came in 43 balls with 4 fours and a six.
Chahal ended with the analysis of 4-0-32-3 and went on to claim Purple Cap which, hitherto, was held by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.