Greatest players in the history of IPL #6 – Virat Kohli

A 19-year-old Kohli was helplessly Brendon McCullum thump the RCB in IPL's inaugural game and 10 years on, Kohli is the captain of the franchise which McCullum represents. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli reacts
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli reacts (Photo: Twitter)

It might be a little surprising to see Virat Kohli being ranked 6th on this incredible list, but there are a lot of reasons which justifies the rank. Arguably the best player in the world right now, Virat Kohli’s impeccable hunger for runs never fails to astonish his fans and well-wishers. He’s going toe-on-toe with Suresh Raina as far as the leading run-scorer in IPL history is concerned.

But his inability to register an IPL trophy is one of the biggest reasons why Kohli stands 6th. Right from the inception of this grandiose tournament, Kohli has been associated with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. A 19-year-old Kohli was helplessly watching a certain Brendon McCullum thump the RCB in IPL’s inaugural game and 10 years on, Kohli is the captain of the franchise which McCullum represents.


In his first two seasons for the club, Kohli was just a promising youngster but no one expected him to take cruise control of the batting department in a short span of time. In 2010, he registered over 300 runs in a season for the first time and never looked back. RCB decided to retain the youngster ahead of the mega-auction in 2011, which did raise a few eyebrows.

But the youngster repaid the faith shown in him by the management with a scintillating performance. He alongside Gayle and AB de Villiers collaborated for the first time and helped Royal Challengers reach the final. It was a memorable season, but it ended on a disappointing note as the Chennai Super Kings romped through them in the final to win the title.

After a slightly moderate season in 2012, he was back to his best in 2013, amassing over 600 runs in a season for the first time in his career. His opening partner Chris Gayle scored over 700 runs as well, but their bowling unit let them down and RCB failed to reach even the playoffs despite two batsmen scoring tons of runs. Well, that has been the story of the Bangalore franchise for a long time.

A trustable source of runs at the top

This was time period when Kohli was establishing himself as the best in the world. The likes of Steve Smith and Joe Root were taking baby steps at this juncture and Kohli kept scoring runs for fun to establish himself in an authoritative position. Kohli was epitomizing perfection and showed the world that even conventional cricketing shots can fetch you a lot of runs in T20s.

When you talk about Kohli’s stint in the IPL, it is important we talk at length about his 2016 campaign. That probably was the greatest individual performance spanning across a season in the history of IPL. Kohli, who didn’t register a single T20 hundred prior to that season, scored 4 in that edition and shattered a plethora of records.

He also amassed a mind-boggling 973 runs, which happens to be the highest individual tally for any batsman in a season. He also scored 7 fifties and his strike-rate was above 140. Despite all this, the Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to overhaul the Indian skipper’s unmatched run and ran away with the title. Once again, it was a heartbreak for the Reds and to add more salt to the wound, they lost the final in their own home ground.

Injury halted his 2017 campaign, but he managed to score 4 half-centuries in the 10 games he played. Kohli piled up a sensational 4,418 runs in 149 IPL matches and averages above 35, which is indeed whopping in T20 cricket. Undoubtedly one of the best in the business, Kohli has been outstanding in the world’s most lucrative cricket league, but just not good enough to enter the top 5.


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