With that knock followed a stunning reaction from wife Anushka Sharma and an incredible gesture from Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya
Is it 2016 again? Well, Virat Kohli is certainly making everyone feel that. Throughout IPL 2023, there were criticism about Kohli's strike rate and whether he still fits into the modern-day T20 batting. But as Chris Gayle said, “Never doubt Kohli”. On Sunday, with Royal Challengers Bangalore needing his services the most amid the battle for the final playoffs spot, Kohli smashed his second consecutive century this season to single-handedly fire the team to 197 for five. And with that knock followed a stunning reaction from wife Anushka Sharma and an incredible gesture from Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya.
Kohli was the lone ranger for RCB on Sunday. With the team fighting against Mumbai Indians for the final playoffs spot, Kohli picked it up right where he left in the previous game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Having scored a 100 off 63 in that game, Kohli pulled off a similar against Gujarat Titans at his beloved Chinnaswamy track, reaching the triple-figure mark in 60 balls. No other batter scored more than 30 in that innings with Faf du Plessis standing as the next best scorer with a knock of 28.
On reaching the mark in the final over, there was a mild celebration from Kohli contrary to what was seen in the game against SRH. He knew there was a job still at hand. But Anushka was elated as she blew multiple kisses at Kohli. Meanwhile, Hardik walked up to Kohli to give a hug and congratulated him on the magnificent feat.
Kohli became the second Indian batter after Shikhar Dhawan to score back-to-back tons in IPL and third overall with Jos Buttler being the other, but the stat that stood out was that it was his seventh century in his IPL career, the most ever by a batter in the tournament. He went past his former teammate Chris Gayle.
Kohli and Faf's aggressive start against GT helped RCB get off to promising start as they scripted a 67-run opening stand before Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed orchestrated a top-order downfall. Kohli then found some able support from Michael Bracewell, but the New Zealand batter's knock lasted only for 16 balls for 26 runs. In the end, it was all Kohli for RCB as he upped the ante with little assistance from Anuj Rawat as RCB finished with 197 for five.
"We would have taken that with both hands once we were five wickets down through the middle overs with Anuj as the last recognised batsman left. We pretty much pulled things back nicely towards the end. We targeted 190 when we lost five, but getting close to 200 is a very competitive score and a winnable score for me. Teams have not been able to chase here in the recent past. It's upon the bowlers now to execute the plans and have a crack at them," Kohli said in the mid-innings chat.
Disclaimer: This Article is auto-generated from the HT news service