IPL 2018: Match 11, Player Battles – Virat Kohli vs Dhawal Kulkarni

Virat Kohli would like to improve his poor record against Rajasthan Royals.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli practices during RCB’s nets session. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli was quite pleased to have his bowling attack play a key role in victories as they ran through the Kings XI Punjab line-up in the previous game to help Royal Challengers Bangalore register its first win of the season. However, Kohli might not be satisfied with his team’s batting performances including his own efforts. The RCB skipper crawled to a 33-ball 31 in the first game against KKR and scored 21 in 16 balls in the previous match before getting cleaned up by a beautiful delivery from Afghanistan’s Mujeeb ur Rahman.

The Indian captain of all formats will now face Rajasthan Royals, the one team that troubled him the most. Kohli scored 258 runs in 15 innings against them in IPL at an average below 20 and an S/R under 100. The numbers are even worse if we consider his performances against them in Bangalore as Kohli scored only 41 runs in five innings. It won’t be an easy task for Kohli to improve his record against RR whose bowling attack consists of Ben Laughlin, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni.

Unadkat improved at bowling consistent lines and became a bowler to beat in the death overs over the past one year that fetched him 11.5 crores at the auction. Laughlin and Archer’s presence will boost their death bowling and spinners from Karnataka could be proved handy in their home conditions. It is the medium-pacer Dhawal Kulkarni who often had Virat Kohli’s wicket in the IPL. Kulkarni dismissed Kohli on four occasions in the league at the cost of 78 runs in 66 balls.

Virat Kohli vs Dhawal Kulkarni:


Though Kohli had his moments by hitting eight fours and one six against Kulkarni, the RR pacer got the RCB captain for a duck during his dream 2016 season. Kohli has a boundary balls percentage of 13.64 against Kulkarni which is quite low for a player of his calibre. Kulkarni is one of the four players to dismissed Virat Kohli on four and more occasions in the IPL. The current RCB bowling coach Ashish Nehra dismissed Kohli six times in the IPL.

(Stats as on April 14, 2018)