King Kohli Unleashes The Lordly Batter Within Just When RCB Desired It!
Kohli smacked his sixth IPL ton vs SRH (AP Photo)
There are not too many who doubt Virat Kohli. There’ll never be too many who’ll ever doubt Virat Kohli. He’s not called the ‘King’ for nothing.
On a perfectly humid Hyderabad innings, sun-kissed with lots of orange and some tints of red, Virat Kohli unleashed the kingly batsman within to send the SRH bowlers on a leather hunt.
There are those who hit hundreds. Then, there are those who hit them for fun, if not always consistently. And then, there are the rare gems, well, call them batting warlords, who hit centuries when the team most wants.
The game against Hyderabad was no ordinary duo for Bangalore; a lot rode big on that virtual do-or-die.
And King Kohli didn’t disappoint.
By no speck of the imagination was the target of 187 too small or dainty for any IPL side. This, then, was RCB in the midst of a run chase in, arguably speaking, the most precious build-up to the finality of the ongoing edition.
And Virat Kohli responded by scoring what became just the only hundred by a batter from the Royal Challengers Bangalore contingent insofar as the IPL is due to reach its conclusion soon.
In the process of notching up 100 very vital runs, Kohli smashed the eighth century of the current edition; those who’ve got to the magical three-figure landmark include the likes of Harry Brook, Prabhsimran Singh, Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Yashasvi Jaiswal and, not to forget, Kohli’s opponent on May 18: Heinrich Klaasen.
But more importantly, Kohli’s counterattacking knock that featured four hits over the fence and twelve strikes to the fence was the fact that it shone brightly in a winning cause.
Not an inning where the domineering batter had to change gears but one where he seemed in the mood from the word go, this was Virat Kohli in peak intent.
It was pure performance. Zero drama. Pure destruction.
How often, you were left to wonder as an RCB-ian, had Kohli been outperformed by the classy Faf du Plessis at the other end from what one had seen so far?
Not on this occasion as big blows towards the mid-wicket and fancy strikes towards the square of the wicket came with rich aplomb.
To be fair, Hyderabad have never been a mug with the white ball; with players like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan and the rising Mayank Dagar they’ve got a reasonably balanced bowling attack.
And yet, in front of the punishing blade of a world-class marksman who’s pretty much a sword wielder in the form of a batter, whatever Hyderabad tried seemed banal and baseless.
You had Faf applauding at the other end with the on-ground audience upbeat in full tempo as stats belted out a brilliant stat: during the peak hours, the OTT viewership touched a stratospheric 2.3 crore mark.
Who else but Virat Kohli could’ve done such a thing?
Perhaps just as important as the RCB victory was the personal milestone of marching the iconic Christopher Henry Gayle as the batsman with the most IPL hundreds to his name: 6.
Perhaps much to the blithe and disbelief of the IPL bowlers, here was Virat Kohli notching up top form as the tournament is nearing its crescendo.
For now, it seems quite brilliant for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are no more languishing outside the top four and have, at the back of an extremely fantastic run-hitting streak by their best batter, landed safely on fourth on the standings.
And, for now, you’ve got to contend with the fact that it’s not done yet for Bangalore; they’d be hoping to go all the way. This time- and it’s a long time coming- just being the runner’s up won’t do.
Can Kohli take them all the way along with Faf and Maxwell, likely forms the biggest and most valuable question.