Hyderabad: Virat Kohli has led the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the one final time on Monday in the Indian Premier League. Like an ardent RCB fan, Kohli also would have liked to end his captaincy stint on a high — with the trophy. However, as fate would have it, RCB crashed out once again in the playoffs, ending Kohli’s captaincy career without the coveted trophy and thereby leaving a big void.
Handed over the captaincy in 2013, he had come close to winning it in 2016 when they entered the final before losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad. He also led the side with his stellar batting show scoring 973 runs in the season. RCB’s four-wicket loss against KKR in Eliminator on Monday ended Kohli’s career as a captain. However, he revealed earlier that he wants to play at the same franchise till he retires from the game.
Kohli was flooded with messages on and off the social media after Monday’s game. Taking to twitter, AB de Villiers penned down an emotional letter praising Kohli. “I have been here through all the years with Virat as captain and I think the word that comes to mind is ‘grateful’. We were very lucky to have had you at the front. The way you captained this team has inspired everyone, certainly inspired me to become better as a player and a person. You have had a much bigger impact than you will ever understand, it has gone miles. There are stories that you don’t even hear of people’s lives that you have touched.
“I have known you on the field but away from it as well. You make people believe in themselves, which is much more important than winning a trophy. Which I still believe will come your way,” wrote the swashbuckling South African.
Having taken the captaincy of RCB in 2013, Kohli led RCB to playoffs four times and to the final in 2016. He captained them in 140 games, winning 66 and losing 70. Meanwhile, Harshal Patel, the highest wicket-taker in the season so far with 32 scalps, said Kohli would remain a leader in the group. “In terms of his captaincy, there are captains and there are leaders, he is definitely a leader. Just because he won’t have the captaincy tag, it doesn’t make him any less of a leader. I think, absolutely we are going to celebrate his contributions and it would have been nicer to celebrate that with the trophy in our hand, but it was not meant to be. But his contributions have been immense and we are definitely going to celebrate that,” he said.
Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar too heaped praises on Kohli saying that Kohli had given RCB a profile only few can give their franchise.
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