Virat Kohli’s affiliation with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) goes into the first year of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and despite announcing that he will step down from the captaincy after the 2021 season, he says he wants to complete his IPL career with the Bangalore franchise.
The initial promise
Kohli was acquired by RCB on a youth contract in 2008. The investment showed early signs of his promise in the 2010 season, making Kohli the third highest run scorer for his team. In 2011, only Kohli was retained by the RCB and he was appointed vice-captain. General captain Daniel Vettori was injured when he was RCB captain for the first time this season.
RCB coach Ray Jennings said he was looking at the 22-year-old Kohli as a future captain for the Indian team along with the franchise.
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In 2013, with Vettori retiring, Kohli was appointed full-time captain. RCB finished the season in fifth place, missing the playoff spot, but Kohli regained confidence in him by having the best season with the bat.
He scored a total of 634 runs at an average of 45.28 and became the third highest run scorer of the season.
Record-breaking seasons, but the title remains unclear
The 2015 and 2016 seasons were the highest points in Kohli’s IPL captaincy, followed by his ascension to the Test captaincy of the Indian team. These two seasons – RCB ranked 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2016 – were the only seasons in which Kohli led his team to the playoffs, apart from the 2020 season.
Both seasons also saw RCB break several batting records by top order, with Kohli having a devastating impact with Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. In 2015, Kohli formed a 215-run partnership with De Villiers against the Mumbai Indians.
In 2016, when he was the RCB runner-up, Kohli broke the record for most runs in an IPL season (733) by scoring 973 runs in 16 matches at an average of 81.08, taking away the Orange Cap. He scored four centuries that year, not doing any of the T20s before the start of the season. Kohli and De Villiers again put on a massive 229-run partnership against the Gujarat Lions.
The following years
RCB’s fortunes plummeted after Kohli was appointed as the all-format captain for the Indian team. They were ranked 8th, 6th and 8th from 2017 to 2019.
Virat Kohli will step down from the RCB captaincy later # IPL2021
This is my last IPL as RCB captain. I will continue to be an RCB player until I play my last IPL game. Thank you to all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me. “: Virat Kohli# Playbold # We are the Challengers pic.twitter.com/QSIdCT8QQM
– Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCBTweets) September 19, 2021
In 2017, RCB posted the lowest total in the IPL after chasing a 132-run target against the Kolkata Knight Riders, losing by 82 runs and being all out for 49 in 9.4 overs.
During the season break in the 2021 season, Kohli said he was stepping down as RCB captain. This came after he announced that he would step down from captaining the Indian team in the T20s.