Virat Kohli needs 266 more to break his 973-run record, and if he does, RCB are winning their maiden IPL title | Crickit
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Virat Kohli needs 266 more to break his 973-run record, and if he does, RCB are winning their maiden IPL title

May 22, 2024 11:00 AM IST

RCB's chances of winning the IPL 2024 depends on how Virat Kohli performs in tonight's Eliminator… and then some.

Think Royal Challengers Bengaluru and what comes to mind? A highly talented team full of gifted individuals. Potential underachievers, maybe? A franchise with one of the biggest fanbases in the world, but a team that has repeatedly under-delivered on the grandest stage, despite boasting some of the biggest superstars the game has ever seen. All these thoughts… and of course 'Ee Sala Cup Namde'.

Can Rajasthan Royals stop the Virat Kohli onslaught? (PTI)
Can Rajasthan Royals stop the Virat Kohli onslaught? (PTI)

With each year, the wait for an elusive title win has only grown longer and frustrating, but this season appears a whole lot different. RCB stunned the fans after staging an emphatic comeback at the Indian Premier League 2024 by winning six games on the trot as they qualified for the playoffs. The 2016 runner-ups might not have seen the daylight after winning only one of their first seven encounters, but the driving force that remained constant throughout their season was Virat Kohli.

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While the spectators might have written RCB off initially, Kohli ensured that he kept scoring and scoring big. The Indian batter unleashed top form in almost every match he played while keeping the coveted Orange Cap did not leave him. The run-machine looked in superb touch right from the beginning of the season but peaked at just the right time, enough to get the resurgent RCB through to the last four.

With 708 runs in 14 matches including five fifties and a century, Kohli is now 266 runs away from breaking his own record for the most runs scored in a single season i.e. 973. The Indian batsman marked the record to his name in 2016 when he scored 4 centuries and 7 fifties. RCB reached the final that year but went down against the eventual champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. Additionally, Kohli is only 29 runs away from making it to 8000 IPL runs as well.

As Kohli sets his eyes on new records, he would surely be yearning for something beyond that as well, a first-ever title for the team. After having traversed an adventurous path to the Playoffs, here is why Bengaluru have a bona fide opportunity to lift the coveted trophy should the Indian batter manage to replicate his batting stints in the playoffs.

How Virat Kohli's fiery knocks will be enough to cruise RCB to their first-ever title

RCB's meteoric rise in the last six games saw Kohli score 329 runs where he smashed more than 40 runs in five of them, with his highest score being 92. So far in the season, the RCB opener has enacted his role in nine outings where he has been amongst the high scorers, and the team has emerged victorious on six occasions. Thus, the scenario for RCB is very straightforward. Run machine Kohli must manage to churn the runs as he has done so far, and the Royal Challengers may not be very far from their first-ever title.

The Indian batting luminary will have to treat every game as the last – the Eliminator included – until the team finally makes it to Sunday's summit clash. In his first match, Kohli will be up against the Rajasthan Royals against whom he scored his only hundred of the season, which unfortunately went in vain. However, the tables will have turned for the RCB opener.

As the Royal Challengers come with five consecutive wins in their previous matches, RR have lost the sting after somehow making it through with four straight losses. The revived side will surely be counting on the Indian batter to fire his thrusters for the upcoming do-or-die matches to carve their name on the coveted trophy for the first time.

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Stay updated with the latest cricket news, T20 World Cup 2024 updates and match highlights. Explore the World Cup Schedule 2024, IND vs CAN Live Score track the World Cup Points Table, follow Virat Kohli's performance, and stay ahead with the stats on World Cup Most Wickets and World Cup Most Runs on the Hindustan Times website and app.

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