Virat Kohli begins IPL 2019 preparations with Royal Challengers Bangalore

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IPL 2019: Virat Kohli, the second highest run-scorer in IPL history, trained with Royal Challengers Bangalore days before their opening game against Chennai Super Kings on March 23.

Virat Kohli will be hoping to end RCB's title drought in IPL 2019 (@imVkohli Photo)

Virat Kohli will be hoping to end RCB’s title drought in IPL 2019 (@imVkohli Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Virat Kohli hit the nets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday
  • Virat Kohli will lead Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bid for an elusive title in 2019
  • RCB begin their IPL 2019 campaign against holders Chennai Super Kings on March 23

Virat Kohli hit the nets for Royal Challengers Bangalore days before their tournament opener against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on March 23. RCB have never won the IPL despite Virat Kohli’s staggering record. With 4948 runs in 163 matches, Kohli is the second highest run-scorer in IPL history behind Suresh Raina.

Virat Kohli, who swept the ICC awards earlier in the year, has been in sensational ODI form in 2019. In 11 ODIs so far, Kohli has scored 611 runs including 3 hundreds. RCB will hope he brings golden touch to the IPL this Indian summer. In the 2018 IPL, after a sensational tour of South Africa, Virat Kohli scored 530 runs in 14 matches but it was not enough in another disappointing campaign for the team.

In 2016, Virat Kohli was on fire with a record-shattering 973 runs from 16 matches as RCB made it to the final. The team, some feel, is overtly reliant on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers but the two don’t seem to mind, coming up with inspiring performances year after year.

This year, RCH have roped in some firepower for the middle-order: Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis will add bulk to that batting line-up but that will mean three of the four overseas slots booked – AB de Villiers selects himself in the RCB playing XI. The team composition will once again be a headache for Virat Kohli.

However, over the years, RCB have strengthened their bowling line-up and this year, the focus will once again be on Indian stars Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Virat Kohli has has scored 4 hundreds and 24 fifties in his IPL career. With the World Cup scheduled soon after the IPL, it is not yet clear whether Kohli will even play all the games for RCB. Rest assured, Virat Kohli would want to score some serious runs and let the world know he means business for his IPL team like he does for India.

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