Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a nine-wicket loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Kohli fell for five in his 200th IPL match as Bangalore were skittled out for 92, with Kolkata spinner Varun Chakravarthy returning figures of 3-13.
The 32-year-old Kohli, who announced this past Sunday that he would step down as RCB captain at the end of the current IPL, is still searching for his side’s first tournament title win.
“Sometimes it can take you a game, I hope not two, to get into the tournament, you have to stay with the eight-ball, if you’re not, the other teams will be all over you,” Kohli said after his team’s first match of the UAE leg.
Kohli, who last week announced his decision also to quit India’s T20 captaincy at the end of the T20 World Cup in October-November, has been under close scrutiny as a leader in recent months.
Kohli was made Bangalore’s captain in 2013, but despite his superstar status, the team’s best finish was losing in the 2016 final.
His record without a title is often compared to India vice-captain Rohit Sharma’s, who has secured five IPL crowns for holders the Mumbai Indians.
RCB were at the receiving end of an inspired Kolkata bowling performance with Chakravarthy and Andre Russell taking three wickets each to flatten the opposition batting.
Seam bowler Prasidh Krishna took down Kohli, trapped lbw, with Russell bowling AB de Villiers for a golden duck.
Bangalore lost regular wickets to Chakravarthy’s mystery spin that got key batsmen, including Australia’s Glenn Maxwell for 10 and Sri Lankan import Wanindu Hasaranga for nought.
Shubman Gill, who made 48, and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, who hit an unbeaten 41 off 27 balls, then put on 82 for the first wicket as Kolkata chased down their target in just 10 overs.
The Eoin Morgan-led side need to win five of their remaining six matches to stay in the race for a playoff spot.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) September 20, 2021
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