IPL 2021, KKR vs RCB: Virat Kohli turns up for 200th IPL game, becomes 5th player to reach this landmark
- IPL 2021: RCB captain Virat Kohli also becomes the first cricketer to play 200 IPL matches for the same franchise.
When Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli turned up for the toss against Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) Eoin Morgan in match 31 of IPL 2021, he became only the fifth cricketer in the history of the tournament to play 200 IPL matches. When a player is of Kohli's caliber and stature, breaking records and reaching new milestones becomes a thing of normalcy.
Kohli, since 2008, has only played for the Bangalore-based franchise, and hence, he has become the first man feature in 200 IPL matches for the same team. In his illustrious career so far, the right-hander has now captained the side in 133 matches. Before the start of this game, he scored 6076 runs at an average of 37.97 and at a strike-rate of 133.95. Between 2007 and 2021, he has scored 5 hundreds and 72 fifties.
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni leads the standings for most appearances in the cash-rich league with 212 games (4672 runs). Second in the list is current Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, who has featured in 207 IPL encounters (5480 runs).
Dinesh Karthik, who is currently playing his trade with two-time champions KKR as a wicketkeeper-batsman, is third on the list with 203 matches (3946 runs). Rounding off the top-4 is Suresh Raina, also known as ‘Mr. IPL’ with 201 matches and 5495 runs.
Meanwhile, Kohli on Sunday announced that he will be stepping down from RCB's captaincy after the culmination of IPL 2021. In a video released on the franchise's official Twitter handle, Kohli said:
“I spoke to the management this evening, it was something that was in my mind for a while.”
“This will be my last IPL as captain of RCB. I’ll continue to be an RCB player till I play my last IPL game. I thank all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me,” Kohli said.
RCB will begin the second phase of IPL 14 at the third position in the points table. On the other hand, KKR, currently placed 7th, will begin their pursuit to a top-4 finish.