Kohli put together a crucial 64-run partnership with Anuj Rawat in the last 34 balls to take RCB’s total to a formidable 197 for 5. Following the match, Kohli said, “I am playing my best T20 cricket again.”
In an interview with Ravi Shastri after the innings, Kohli talked about how great he felt and dismissed the idea that his T20 cricket form was declining.
Kohli feels that he is playing his 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 the big ones in the end if the situation allows me to,” Kohli said reflecting on his masterclass against GT.
Kohli’s unbeaten century helped him overtake his former RCB teammate Chris Gayle with the most centuries in the IPL and made him the third player to score consecutive IPL hundreds. Shikhar Dhawan in 2020 and Jos Buttler in 2022 have achieved this feat before.
In a big match, Kohli and Faf du Plessis got off to a great start with adding 60 runs in the powerplay without losing a wicket. However, Titans’ spinners took three quick wickets as RCB batters were trying be aggressive, including du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell, putting some pressure on RCB.
Despite Kohli’s impressive innings, Titans chased down the target with ease. Kohli acknowledged that the spinners made his job tough saying, “Spin wasn’t easy to get away and I think the strength of a lot of our fast bowlers is also taking pace off.”
Kohli believed that there was enough for the bowlers to defend. “There’s enough in this pitch for our bowlers to make a dent through the [chase], and hitting big shots as you saw in the middle overs wasn’t as easy when the field spread out. If we can cut down those boundaries and now allow them to run twos from those gaps, then it’ll be a very difficult chase,” he said after the first innings.
One of the many positives for RCB this season was the outstanding opening partnership between Kohli and du Plessis. The pair scored an impressive 939 runs in 14 innings, equalling the record of Kohli and AB de Villiers for most runs by a pair in a T20 tournament, which was set in IPL 2016.
Despite RCB’s exit from the tournament, Kohli’s performances this season have been inspiring. In his 2023 stint, there was a big reflection of how he performed in 2016 IPL season.
With Asia Cup and World Cup around the corner, this is a positive news for Indian cricket fans as well as captain Rohit Sharma who also scored a half century on the same day. If Kohli keeps performing this way with incredible self belief, surely, we will see best of him in upcoming months.
Virat Kohli’s back-to-back centuries in IPL 2023 have reminded fans why he is one of the best in the business. His performances this season have been impressive, and he still has much to offer in T20 cricket.
The opening partnership of Kohli and du Plessis has been remarkable, and they have played an essential role in RCB’s campaign this season.
Although RCB’s journey came to an end, Kohli’s remarkable form and determination serve as an inspiration for fans and aspiring cricketers like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Prabhsimran Singh and many others who are following Kohli’s footsteps.