Breaking Down Virat Kohli's IPL 2014 Season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chris TealeFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2014

Breaking Down Virat Kohli's IPL 2014 Season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore

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    A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

    The Indian Premier League (IPL) season finished a little early for one of India’s top domestic players, with Virat Kohli unable to lift Royal Challengers Bangalore above seventh place.

    It was an inconsistent year for both Kohli and Bangalore, who won five games but lost nine and so were unable to reach the playoffs after a poor run of form.

    The Royal Challengers captain will face many more challenges in what promises to be a long career but first let us reflect on his 2014 IPL season.

    Read on for a breakdown of Virat Kohli’s performances in the 2014 IPL.

Game 1 vs. Delhi Daredevils (April 17)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Coming off a successful campaign personally for India in the World Twenty20, Kohli looked on song in his first game of this year’s IPL against Delhi.

    After the Daredevils were restricted to 145-4, Kohli came in at No. 3 and scored an unbeaten 49 from 38 balls to help lead his side home by eight wickets.

Game 2 vs. Mumbai Indians (April 19)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Things continued in a similar vein for Bangalore in their next game against the Mumbai Indians, but it did not go so well for captain Kohli.

    In his side’s chase of 116 for victory, the Royal Challengers captain was dismissed off just his second ball without scoring, although it did not prevent his side prevailing in the end.

Game 3 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (April 24)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    The Royal Challengers came crashing back down to earth in their next game against Kolkata, as after their opponents reached 150, Bangalore fell two runs short.

    For Kohli, it was something of a return to form as he hit 31 from 23 balls with four fours, but it was not enough to prevent his side from taking their first loss.

Game 4 vs. Rajasthan Royals (April 26)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    It went from bad to worse for the Royal Challengers against Rajasthan, as they were skittled for just 70 and then saw their total passed easily by the Royals.

    Kohli was Bangalore’s top scorer as he hit 21 from 25 balls with three fours, but the lack of runs from elsewhere meant his side floundered.

Game 5 vs. Kings XI Punjab (April 28)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Batting first against Kings XI Punjab, Bangalore only reached 124-8 from their 20 overs with Kohli contributing just four runs to the cause.

    That total would be passed easily by Punjab for the loss of five wickets.

Game 6 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 4)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    An improvement followed for the Royal Challengers against Sunrisers Hyderabad, but things continued to be poor for Kohli as he was dismissed for a five-ball duck.

    However, it did not prevent Bangalore winning by four wickets to get their season back on track.

Game 7 vs. Mumbai Indians (May 6)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    In their next game, Bangalore faced the difficult task of chasing 188 for victory against Mumbai against a potent bowling attack.

    They would fall short by 19 runs, but things improved for Kohli as he scored 35 from 28 balls in an innings that included two fours and two sixes.

Game 8 vs. Kings XI Punjab (May 9)

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Another seemingly hopeless assignment followed against Kings XI Punjab as they racked up 198-8 from their 20 overs and left Bangalore with an enormous chase.

    Kohli came in at No. 3 but was removed with his very first ball as the Royal Challengers went on to lose by 32 runs.

Game 9 vs. Rajasthan Royals (May 11)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Promoted to open against Rajasthan, Kohli’s poor form with the bat continued as he could make just four runs from nine deliveries.

    He was then powerless to prevent the Royals marching home with five wickets to spare, despite them being set 191 for victory.

Game 10 vs. Delhi Daredevils (May 13)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Things looked bleak for the Royal Challengers going into this game, but after a poor run they managed to pull out a victory over Delhi by 16 runs.

    Unfortunately, there was little improvement for captain Kohli, who went back to No. 3 but could only manage 10 from 11 balls.

Game 11 vs. Chennai Super Kings (May 18)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Still retaining hopes of making the playoffs, Bangalore managed to pull out a second consecutive victory over Chennai by a margin of five wickets.

    Kohli’s batting also saw something of a welcome revival as he made 27 from 29 balls with one four and one six.

Game 12 vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 20)

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Unfortunately for Bangalore, they could not keep up the momentum against Sunrisers Hyderabad as they were defeated by seven wickets.

    However, Kohli was one bright spot with the bat as he stroked 67 from 41 balls with four boundaries and four sixes.

Game 13 vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (May 22)

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    Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

    The Royal Challengers then met Kolkata just two days later and lost comfortably by 30 runs as their opponents guaranteed a playoff spot.

    Kohli was once again a positive with the bat, however, as he made 38 from 31 balls, but he could not prevent his side from taking another defeat.

Game 14 vs. Chennai Super Kings (May 24)

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    Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

    In his final game of the IPL, Kohli came good once again as he made 73 from 49 balls at No. 4 in the order in an innings that included two fours and five sixes.

    However, Bangalore’s bowlers could not defend 154, and Chennai were able to saunter home for the loss of just two wickets.

Final Statistics

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    Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

    14 matches
    359 runs; 27.61 batting average; 122.10 strike rate; 73 highest score

    Virat Kohli’s struggles were perhaps symbolic of the overall struggles of Royal Challengers Bangalore—they promised much but were ultimately too inconsistent to pose a real threat.

    In making two half-centuries he gave a superb indication of his capabilities, but his three ducks undermined his team’s cause at vital moments in their campaign.

    In short, it was a frustrating tournament for Kohli and Bangalore after the highs of the World Twenty20 with India.

    However, both will be back and desperate to impress in their future challenges.

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