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NEW DELHI: The Royal Challengers Bangalore have unfortunately almost always flattered to deceive in the Indian Premier League. Having never won the IPL title, they have finished the runners-up in one season and ended up as the lowest-ranked team in the next and their fluctuating fortunes have baffled experts and fans alike.
RCB’s encounters with Kolkata Knight Riders have a knack of making history. The first match ever of the IPL was played between the two sides on April 18, 2008, in which RCB were thrashed by KKR (222/3) by 140 runs thanks to a blitzkrieg 158* by Brendon McCullum. Virat Kohli, who had led India to the Under-19 World Cup title earlier that year, scored 1 run in that match as RCB were bundled out for 82 runs in 15.1 overs.
Cut to 2021 and Kohli’s journey as RCB captain ended on a sour note on Monday as his team lost the Eliminator against KKR in Sharjah.
Kohli had announced at the beginning of phase 2 of the 2021 edition of the IPL in the UAE that he will quit as captain of the side after this season.
Virat the batsman of course is a completely different story in the IPL. The all-time leading run scorer in the IPL, Kohli has so far scored 6283 runs in 207 IPL matches since he joined RCB in the inaugural edition in 2008 and led them to a runners-up finish in 2016.
Kohli, who took over the RCB captaincy from Daniel Vettori in the 2013 season, finished with 66 wins and 70 defeats in 140 games as RCB skipper.

Here’s a look at how RCB have performed across the seasons under Virat the captain vis a vis what Kohli the batsman did:
2013: Virat was named RCB captain during the 2013 season, in which he scored 634 runs from 16 matches. But the title remained elusive for RCB as the franchise finished fifth in the league stage, with 18 points in 16 games.
2014: In his first full-fledged season as captain, Virat scored 359 runs in 14 matches, but the team fortunes plummeted that season as RCB finished seventh in the league stage. They had 10 points in all in 14 games played in 2014.
2015: RCB reached the playoffs with Virat smashing 505 runs from 16 matches in 2015. RCB beat Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs in the Eliminator but were beaten by Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2.

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2016: This was the season during which Virat was in absolutely breath-taking form. He amassed a mind boggling 973 runs from 16 matches, at an average of 81.08 and a strike rate of 152.03. Leading from the front, the RCB captain slammed as many as 4 centuries in that season. RCB beat Gujarat Lions in Qualifier 1 to storm into the final. However they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 runs in the summit clash. Virat earned the Orange Cap for being the leading run-getter in the tournament.
2017: With RCB batting mainstays Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat himself having injury issues, the batting performances went from bad to worse for the team. RCB registered the lowest score in the history of the IPL when they were bundled out for 49 runs in 9.4 overs against their old nemesis – the Kolkata Knight Riders. Virat scored 308 runs from 10 matches in the season and RCB finished eighth (last) in the league stage, with just 7 points in 14 games.

Virat Kohli. (BCCI/IPL/PTI Photo)
2018: With no Chris Gayle and an unsettled playing XI, RCB’s fortunes nose-dived again in 2018. Virat, the batsman, scored 530 runs in 14 matches and RCB bowed out of the competition after losing to Rajasthan Royals by 30 runs to finish sixth in the league stage. They earned 12 points in 14 matches that season.
2019: The new season failed to bring any change in RCB fortunes. Virat hit a century and overall scored 464 runs in the season. With hardly any support from the rest of the players, RCB were back to the last spot (eighth) in the league stage with 11 points in 14 games. They were tied on points with Rajasthan Royals, but finished behind the Royals on NRR.

2020: With a new coaching staff in place, things started looking up for RCB, but only just. On the verge of a top-two finish, RCB lost four successive matches and managed to reach the playoffs with 14 points, beating KKR in the playoffs race on net run rate. In the Eliminator though their campaign came to an end, as they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad to bow out of the competition. Virat scored 466 runs from 15 matches last season.
2021: This season, RCB were in fact one of the better teams in terms of overall performance. They reached the playoffs again, though they were denied a top two finish. And once again their campaign ended at the Eliminator stage, this time due to a 4 wicket loss vs KKR. Virat, the batsman, scored 405 runs in 15 games, with a highest score of 72*. He had three fifties this season, but an average of just under 29. And with that his tenure as RCB captain came to an end.

Virat Kohli. (BCCI/IPL/PTI Photo)
RCB may have changed coaches every season since 2016, but they have unshakable faith in Virat Kohli, who has said that he too will stay loyal to the franchise and play for the same team till his last match in the IPL.



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