At Eden, the RCB skipper, in the absence of AB de Villiers, took it upon himself to anchor the innings and later finish it off. With Moeen Ali firing from the other end by smashing around Kuldeep Yadav, Kohli was content playing the second-fiddle role. Ali smashed 45 off 15 balls off Kuldeep alone and made 66 in 28 balls.
Shortly after Moeen was dismissed - off Kuldeep - Kohli changed gears. In the first 16 overs, Kohli had made just 55 in 42 balls at an ordinary strike rate of 130.95 including five fours and a six. He appeared to be in form and was timing the ball pretty well but seemed content to anchor the innings.
In the final four overs, though, the RCB skipper went berserk. He hit Harry Gurney for two fours and a six in the 17th over before dumping Narine for another maximum in the 18th. On 80 off 50 by now, Kohli raced to his 100 in the next eight balls as RCB made 213, their highest total this season.
Kohli's acceleration in the final four overs was commendable. He faced 16 balls and made 45 runs at a strike rate of 281.25 while hitting four fours and three sixes.
This is Kohli's first hundred in the IPL since the 2016 season when he made four hundreds including his first ever IPL ton. The RCB skipper jumped up to third in the top run-scorers list this season with this century. He averages 42.00 this year and is appearing to be in ominous touch since his first half-century in the season against Kolkata at Bengaluru.
Including that game and since then, Kohli has made scores of 84, 41, 67, 8 and 100 in five matches. His brilliant form augers well for India heading into the World Cup. There were rumours around how he has struggled against spinners of late, particularly after Adam Zampa's success against him, but the Indian skipper has thwarted all that in his recent run of form.
First Published: April 20, 2019, 6:30 AM IST