Virat Kohli became the first batsman in Indian T20 League history to reach the milestone of 6000 runs. Since the inception of the league, Kohli has only donned the red and gold of Team Bangalore and remains a one-club player. His loyalty to the city and its fans are unimaginable and Bangalore fans love him to bits.
Kohli has been very consistent in getting the big runs for his franchise and has played various roles over the years. He started off as a prodigy from the Under-19 World Cup to eventually become the best player in the world and the captain of the team. It has been a remarkable journey to 6000 runs in the league and here we will go through the various stages of his career with Team Bangalore.
A DIFFICULT START TO LIFE
Virat Kohli came into a team with a star-studded line-up. He was a spoilt kid from Delhi who thought the world was at his feet after leading the country to the Under-19 World Cup triumph. But soon realised that there was plenty of work to be done on his game if he was to be successful at such a high level.
He managed to score just 165 runs in the inaugural season of the league and improved on it slightly in the subsequent season in 2009 with 246 runs. In 2010, we saw glimpses of what he is capable of. This was the time he started to break into the Indian national team as well. He scored 307 runs in the season at a good strike rate of 144.81.
THE START OF SOMETHING SPECIAL
Kohli piled on the runs in 2011 amassing 557 runs in 16 matches at an average of 46.41 including four fifties. He was the second-highest scorer of the season after Chris Gayle, his former teammate. His remarkable consistency stood out throughout the season. He played within himself and scored at a rate of 121.08. He played second fiddle to Gayle throughout the season and the team went all the way to the final in 2011 only to lose against MS Dhoni’s Team Chennai.
THE PRESSURES OF CAPTAINCY
After a mediocre 2012, Kohli came back with a bang in 2013 returning as the third-highest run-getter of the edition with 634 runs in 16 matches. This was also the year when he was handed over the captaincy of the franchise. This was a season where he piled on big runs at a good rate as well.
Kohli had a batting average of 45.28 and strike rate of 138.73 in the season including six fifties. He recorded two brilliant 90s in the season and this was the year when Kohli had firmly established himself as one of the leading batters in world cricket.
WELCOME THE RUN MACHINE
2014 was an uncharacteristically lean season for Virat Kohli. This was around the time when he started to question his game post a disastrous tour of England. But he bounced back like the champion he is in 2015, recording 505 runs at an average of 45.9 and helped Team Bangalore to the playoffs.
He played the sheet anchor role throughout the season as he had the likes of Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers going berserk from the other end. However, the best of King Kohli was yet to come in the Indian T20 League.
ARISE KING KOHLI
Kohli was in a different zone in 2016 when he opened the innings for his team. He smashed the maximum runs by any batsman in any season in the history of the competition, aggregating a colossal 973 runs in 16 innings at a stunning rate of 152.03. He reached a landmark that hasn’t been breached yet and not many have come close to his record-breaking season.
He was phenomenally consistent and recorded four hundreds. This again was a record that hasn’t been breached yet. His side played some brilliant cricket and deservedly reached the final of the season but fell agonisingly close to its first-ever trophy.
2017 was an injury-ridden season for the King but Kohli was in fine form in 2018 and 2019. He scored 530 runs at a strike rate of 139.1 in 2018 while piling 464 runs in 2019 at a rate of 141.46. He scored in excess of 400 runs in 2020 in the UAE too, but again in the role of the anchor, as his strike rate of 121.35 indicated.
Before the 2021 season, Kohli announced that he would open the innings again for the team. He started the tournament with a couple of measured 30s but showcased his destructive best against Team Rajasthan. His 72* at the Wankhede was enough for him to become the first player to breach the 6000 mark in the competition.
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