Kohli says IPL 2021 has been ‘most enjoyable’ after 2016, ‘Have created friendships’

Written by Abhishek Patil

Virat Kohli said that the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season has been one he has enjoyed most after the 2016 season, which was the only edition in which Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) reached the final. Kohli’s nine-year stint as captain of RCB came to an end with a defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Eliminator on Monday.

“If you ask me honestly, the 2016 season was very special for us but I think, this season has been the most enjoyable after that. Just being part of this group and the way we conducted ourselves, the way we handled success and failure, is something that is very special,” Kohli told his team mates in the dressing room after the match on Monday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The 2016 season was also a personal high for Kohli as the 32-year-old dragged his team to the final with some extraordinary numbers. He smashed a whopping 973 runs, which remains the record for most runs by a player in a single season, scoring as many as four centuries at a strike rate of 152.03 and an average of 81.08.

Kohli said on Monday that the team is proud of the way they played despite the loss to KKR. “We might all be disappointed today but no one looks broken. We are very proud of the way we played, which I think is something we have always tried to create in this franchise, and I have been grateful to get the opportunity to captain this team for nine years,” he said.

“I’ll continue to give everything for this franchise, still be a leader around the group, but not the one making all the decisions. I am very sure that the new people who will come will take this franchise to the next level. I want to thank all of you for making this campaign very memorable and I feel we have created friendships and camaraderie which will last for a long time,” Kohli concluded.

Kohli had announced before the start of the UAE leg of the 2021 IPL that he will be resigning as RCB captain after this season. He has been leading the team since 2013, taking over as captain from Daniel Vettori.

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Abhishek Patil