Virat Kohli surpassed his former Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Chris Gayle’s record for most centuries in the Indian Premier League even as his side’s playoff hopes came to a close on Sunday in Bengaluru.
The former RCB captain finished unbeaten on 101* off 61 balls. RCB finished with 197/5 in 20 overs. But a sensational innings by Shubman Gill, also a century and also back-to-back to power Gujarat Titans home.
Kohli followed up his century in Hyderabad with another magnificent innings against Gujarat Titans.
While that knock came in a run-chase, Kohli’s seventh century was a stunning innings in a must-win match for RCB. While he was off to a flying start, he had to check himself as wickets fell around him. He then exploded at the back-end once again. His century came at the start of the final over of the innings.
“Lot of people think that my T20 cricket is declining, I don’t feel like that at all,” Kohli said after the innings in an interview with the broadcasters.
“I think I am playing my best T20 cricket again. I’m just enjoying myself. This is how I play T20 cricket, I look to hit gaps, hit a lot of boundaries and then the big ones towards the end if the situation allows me to. You have to read situations and rise up to the occasion when the situation demands. I feel really good with my game at the moment and how I’m batting.”
Batters with most centuries in IPL (3+)
|AB de Villiers||3|
While the previous ton came with Faf du Plessis also in great form, here he had to do bulk of the scoring under pressure.
“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,” Kohli said.
It was, of course, a must-win for RCB after MI defeated SRH earlier in the day. And a defeat ended their campaign.
Kohli became the first batter to score two centuries in the ongoing season of IPL and Gill joined him soon after. And Kohli was only the third batter to score consecutive centuries in IPL, also joined by Gill soon after.
Centuries in IPL 2023
|Brook||100||181.81||SRH||v KKR||Eden Gardens||14 Apr 2023|
|V Iyer||104||203.92||KKR||v MI||Wankhede||16 Apr 2023|
|Jaiswal||124||200.00||RR||v MI||Wankhede||30 Apr 2023|
|Suryakumar||103||210.20||MI||GT||Wankhede||12 May 2023|
|Prabhsimran||103||158.46||PBKS||DC||Delhi||13 May 2023|
|Gill||101||174.13||GT||SRH||Ahmedabad||15 May 2023|
|Klaasen||104||203.92||SRH||RCB||Hyderabad||18 May 2023|
|Kohli||100||158.73||RCB||SRH||Hyderabad||18 May 2023|
|Green||100||212.76||MI||SRH||Wankhede||21 May 2023|
|Kohli||101*||165.57||RCB||GT||Bengaluru||21 May 2023|
|Gill||104*||200.00||GT||RCB||Bengaluru||21 May 2023|
Four of Kohli’s IPL centuries came in one season, when he amassed an incredible 973 runs in one edition back in 2016. His other century came in the 2019 season.
Earlier this season, Kohli became the first batter to cross the 7,000-run mark in the tournament’s history. The leading run-getter in the history of Indian Premier League, Kohli moved past the 7,000 milestone during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s match against Delhi Capitals. Kohli, perhaps fittingly, reached that landmark in Delhi which is his home ground.
After struggling for most of 2022, Kohli has been in much better touch in the IPL in 2023. He has already scored seven 50-plus innings this season.
For the second time in his career, he has scored multiple centuries in one season IPL. Kohli had said after his ton against SRH, “I was telling the boys the way I am looked at as an IPL player as well. It’s like, ‘You know, he’s fine. This is my sixth IPL hundred and I don’t think I give myself enough credit sometimes because I put myself under so much stress already that I don’t really care about what anyone says on the outside, to be honest.”
Kohli over the years in IPL
Here are some reactions to the innings: