Twitter went into overdrive after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) talisman Virat Kohli scripted history against Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.
Virat Kohli, who struck a scintillating 50 off 34 balls against DC before being sent back to the pavilion by Lalit Yadav, became the first batter to cross the milestone of 2,500 runs at a single venue in the IPL.
Virat Kohli’s feat came at his home ground, M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, when he completed his 11th run against the Delhi Capitals.
The knock against DC was Virat Kohli’s 47th score of a half-century in the IPL, putting him in the third spot in the cash-rich league. The two men ahead of him are David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. While David Warner sits on top of the list with 57 half-centuries, Shikhar Dhawan occupies the second spot with 49 fifties.
Also, it was Virat Kohli’s 23rd half-century at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Virat Kohli has been imperious in the ongoing IPL, having made 214 runs, including three half-centuries in four outings in the competition. His best knock of the Indian Premier League 2023 came in RCB’s opening contest against five-time champions Mumbai Indians, where he smashed an unbeaten 82 to secure his team’s victory.
During his latest innings against DC, Virat Kohli again looked comfortable in the middle as he cut, drove, and flicked at will. Before getting out to Lalit Yadav, Virat Kohli smashed six fours and a lone six, helping RCB to a competitive total of 174/6 during the allotted 20 overs.
Virat Kohli in T20 Cricket since Asia Cup 2022:
35, 59*, 60, 0, 122*, 2, 11, 63, 3, 49*, 82*, 62*, 12, 64*, 26, 50, 82*, 21, 61, 50
•Innings – 20
•Runs – 914
•Average – 70.30
•Strike rate – 141.3
•Hundred – 1
•Fifties – 10
A FEAST FROM THE KING pic.twitter.com/TnOAK79E6Z
— S (@supr_virat) April 16, 2023
Virat Kohli won the Player of the Match award for his terrific fifty.
King Kohli is back with a bang.#RCBvDC | #RCBvsDC pic.twitter.com/a2wt0qU6EA
— Mufaddal Vohra (@Muffadel__Vohra) April 15, 2023
This new version of Virat Kohli is better than any version of sachin dhoni rohit combined pic.twitter.com/hk9c0u7OV0
— ☥ (@chixxsays) April 15, 2023
Question on his place & form in August.
Hundred in T20I, ODIs & Tests.
MOM award in T20I, ODIs & Tests
MOM award in IPL
Highest scorer in Asia Cup for IND
Highest scorer in T20 WC & BGT for IND
3 fifty in 4 innings in IPL.
The King Virat Kohli – The GOAT. pic.twitter.com/txufJUZdkC
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) April 15, 2023
In reply, Delhi Capitals could only make 151/9, thus handing Royal Challengers Bangalore their second triumph in four games.
After the match, Virat Kohli spoke about his performance, saying he was disappointed to get out on a full toss.
“I was quite disappointed that I got out to a full toss. I’ve been playing really well. One thing I mentioned to the guys in the change room that 175 was enough on this pitch. It slowed down considerably. We did well to get to that score and had the belief it was enough,” Virat Kohli said after RCB’s victory over the Delhi-based side.
“When I’ve played my best cricket, those are the balls I’ve put away consistently. When I put away their best balls, it puts pressure on the bowlers. We kind of let it slip away last two games. That was a different mentality and phase altogether (T20 World Cup 2016 semis). I back myself to hit good shots. When they come off they look good,” Virat Kohli added.
After going through a three-year lull for a century in any form of cricket, Virat Kohli seems to be playing some of his best cricket across formats in recent months.
In March, the Delhi-born cricketer broke a series of records en route to his 28th Test century against Australia in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
Among the multiple feats Virat Kohli achieved in Gujarat was becoming the quickest to complete 11,000 international runs at home.
Virat Kohli also matched former India captain Sunil Gavaskar’s landmark.
Virat Kohli was playing in his 50th Test on home soil, and he celebrated the occasion with a hundred. In 1983, Sunil Gavaskar made a century when he featured in his 50th Test match in Indian conditions against West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
The ton against Australia in Ahmedabad was his 8th hundred in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, joint-second most by any batter from the two countries. While Sachin Tendulkar has nine centuries, Ricky Ponting and Steve Smith have scored eight centuries each.
It was Virat Kohli’s first Test hundred since November 2019, thus ending a 1,204 days wait for a century in the five-day format of the sport.
Moreover, it was his first century in red-ball cricket after 41 innings – his longest drought in Test matches. During this phase, Virat Kohli went without a ton in 23 games.
Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals spinner Kuldeep Yadav revealed his strategy against Virat Kohli.
The Chinaman bowler pointed out that he didn’t allow Virat Kohli to hit the big shots, which eventually paid off as the former India captain got out to a poor stroke, getting caught in the deep after failing to hit a full toss out of the park.
“The wicket was pretty much on the slower side so I was just trying to hit the right length. I bowled a couple of overs to Virat bhai, checking his initial movement. [On the wicket of Maxwell] He was going really well and I thought I can be the man to change the game from here. I believe in myself and we got him out and then next ball DK got out and we were back in the game,” Kuldeep Yadav told the official broadcasters during the innings break.
“I’m just focusing on bowling in the right areas. We have a lot of games to go and I think I can probably break the 20 [wickets] mark. 175 is a good total. For spinners, it’s not coming onto the bat. Once the spinners come on, we need to keep rotating the strike and that’s the important thing,” Kuldeep Yadav elaborated.
Though Virat Kohli was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant knock against DC, his struggles against spin continued as he lost his wicket to a slow bowler once more.
Last week, former India batter Mohammad Kaif questioned Virat Kohli’s play against spin, which he stated was a huge concern for RCB moving forward in the IPL.
“What has happened to Virat Kohli against spin? He is getting out to spin in Test matches and ODIs, and here also he got out to spin. It has become a concern and Gautam Gambhir would have been watching this match. The next match is against Lucknow,” Mohammad Kaif said at the time.
“It is absolutely clear that he is unable to pick the ball in the air. The attempt was to play on the leg side and there was a huge gap between the bat and pad. The ball was not even close to the bat. He closed the face of the bat. The ball was pitched outside the off stump. That’s his weakness as well,” Mohammad Kaif concluded.
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