3 of Virat Kohli’s finest strikes in the 2023 IPL: Virat Kohli was one of the few players to score a silver inning for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in another disappointing IPL season, which saw them miss the playoffs for the third consecutive time.
Kohli made amends for a terrible IPL 2022, where he struggled to get going, by amassing 639 runs with a strike rate near 140 this season.
Even with so many obvious flaws in their lineup, one of the reasons RCB came so close to qualifying was his opening combinations with captain Faf du Plessis.
1. 100 (63) Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Match 65
On a slow Hyderabad surface where the ball wasn’t going into the bat nicely, Virat Kohli put on a batting clinic. For spinners and bowlers employing variations to bowl into the pitch, the surface had plenty of grips and turns.
Thanks to Heinrich Klassen’s breathtaking performance, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) scored a total of 186 runs on that surface, which was above average. Never letting the spinners get comfortable, the South African showed off some impressive spin-hitting range, scoring his first IPL century in the process.
With a weak middle order, the task of bringing down the total fell to the trio of Glenn Maxwell, Faf Du Plessis, and Virat Kohli.
After a cautious start, Kohli’s batting improved, producing plenty of singles and doubles in addition to the rare boundaries. He and du Plessis recorded their third 100+ opening stands of the season, ensuring that RCB defeated their rivals.
2. 101* (61) against Gujarat Titans, Chinnaswamy, Match 70
In what was a must-win encounter against the Gujarat Titans (GT), Virat Kohli rose to the occasion and showed what experience brings to the table.
In a rain-marred game, RCB has to bat on a pitch with moisture, which by no means was ideal.
Kohli and Du Plessis raced away to a 50+ score in no time, but a flurry of wickets meant the former had to slow down a bit. however, Kohli decided against it and kept attacking the bowlers.
The former Indian captain then chose to farm strikes with Anuj Rawat after Michael Bracewell was dismissed and there was no longer any batting left to be done. He then waited for the final three overs before launching himself.
His team’s total was raised to 197/5 as a result of his clever bowler selection and effective attack, which enabled him to complete his eighth IPL century in style.
3. 82* (49) against MI, Chinnaswamy, Match 5
Tilak Varma’s valiant 86-ball knock, which helped his team recover from being 20/3, was the only way the Mumbai Indians (MI) were able to reach their difficult goal of 172 at Chinnaswamy.
In response, the hosts got off to a fast start thanks to the RCB openers, particularly Virat Kohli, who came out firing.
When Kohli spread his lengths by stepping out, hitting Jofra Archer through the covers, and whipping him to the area around the middle wicket, the MI debutant was put through the wringer.
MI By bringing in leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, captain Rohit Sharma attempted to halt the run flow, but to no avail because Kohli was unconcerned.
He scored 82 (49) runs in total and 148 runs alongside Faf Du Plessis in the match’s opening innings, which RCB won by eight wickets.