Kohli Eyes Elusive IPL 2020 Title

Published September 15th, 2020 - 02:50 GMT
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)

Despite India enjoying a glorious run in Test cricket last year, Virat Kohli has yet to taste success at the ICC limited overs showpiece events as captain.

Not that the team have been abysmal under Kohli's captaincy in the biggest events on the international stage.

But a stunning defeat at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final to a Mohammad Amir-inspired Pakistan and the meek surrender to the classy New Zealand swing bowlers on a juicy wicket in the 2019 World Cup semifinal have left Kohli, the greatest modern match-winner in limited overs cricket, without a trophy as India captain.

The empty trophy cabinet continues to haunt Kohli as the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the team he leads in the Indian Premier League (IPL), are still waiting to find the winning formula in the world's biggest T20 league.

The RCB, inspired by Kohli's sublime batting, came close to winning the elusive title in 2016 only to fumble in the final hurdle against the David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad.

But now as the 2020 edition of the IPL kicks off in the UAE, the RCB captain is hoping to lay his hands on the trophy.

And Ab de Villiers, the team's South African batting genius, has been impressed with the efforts taken by the players in training.

The former South African captain also credits Kohli for the work ethic the team have shown in the training sessions.

"We have worked so hard, we have a good work ethic, it really feels like everyone has bought into this hard-working environment. The credit needs to go to Virat, he sets the example and leads from the front. It is pretty easy to follow when you have a captain who is always leading from the front," De Villiers said in a video posted on RCB's Twitter handle.

While the team have been heavily dependent on the batting exploits of Kohli and De Villiers in the previous editions, the new signings - Aaron Finch, Chris Morris and Adam Zampa - have given them a shot in the arm.

Australia's limited overs captain Finch is a formidable batsmen in white-ball cricket and Morris, the 33-year-old South African all-rounder, is a hugely efficient player in T20 cricket.

And Zampa, the 28-year-old leg-spinner whose rapid rise in international cricket has made him a regular in the Australian white-ball teams, will be vying for a place with Indian leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal in the RCB playing eleven.

And De Villiers is delighted to have such quality players in the team.

"There is a different feel this time, there is back up everywhere looking at our options. Virat and coaches can find the best playing XI, there are options in every single department, be it batting, bowling, and fielding," De Villiers said.

The 36-year-old De Villiers, who ended his glittering international career due to injury issues, says the Covid-19-enforced break would not deter the players when the tournaments begins on September 19.

"It is natural to get breaks here and there, sometimes the schedule allows a period of no cricket for two months or so. Sometimes injuries happen and you are out for six or seven months," he said.

"I know the feeling of coming back from a big break. It's amazing how you can get back into the groove, nothing guarantees performance, but that's the beauty of sport, you never know what to expect."


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