Monday Sep 20, 2021
Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli will become the first player in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) history to have played 200 matches for the same franchise, as his team will go head-to-head with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi tonight, ESPN reported Monday.
The Indian team captain has been a part of the Challengers since the IPL had started in 2008 — batting 191 innings, hitting 6,076 runs and maintaining a strike rate of 130.41.
The batsman has been able to hit as many as five centuries and 40 half-centuries over the years and helped his team the tournament's finals in 2009, 2011, and 2016.
"Kohli is ahead by a decent distance for most matches played at a single franchise; MS Dhoni is second on the list with 182 matches for the Chennai Super Kings, while his team-mate Suresh Raina is third, having played 172 matches. Overall, Kohli, at 199, is fifth on the list of most IPL matches played, behind Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, and Raina," ESPN reported.
The Challengers' skipper is set to make history a day after he had announced that he will step down as captain of the franchise after the 2021 season.
Kohli this week also gave up the captaincy of India's Twenty20 side to manage his immense workload, saying he would not continue in the role after this year's World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
"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 had said on RCB's Twitter handle.
"I spoke to the management this evening. This was something that was on my mind... I needed the space to refresh, regroup and be absolutely clear in how to move forward."
Kohli, who took over as RCB skipper full time in 2013, has yet to lead the side to an IPL title.