When the Royal Challengers Bangalore conceded the defeat to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator round of IPL 2021 on Monday, it was not only the exit of the team in the current season but sadly, for the fans, it is also an end of Virat Kohli's era as he bids farewell for the IPL captaincy with the debacle. The fans carpet an emotional sendoff to Kohli, who has signed off as an unlucky captain.
From the moment when Kohli announced his resignation from the IPL captaincy, the RCB fans hoped for a glorifying ending of his captaincy by winning the IPL Trophy this time. The trophy was in sight when the RCB had successfully entered the playoffs and took on the Knight Riders on Monday. However, in the end, Kohli's fleet had lost its road to the finals by getting defeated by the Knight Riders, which won by four wickets and entered the Qualifier 2, where it will be taking on the Delhi Capitals.
RCB is out of the IPL 2021 and still has the tag of being an unsuccessful team in the IPL, despite having a strong contingent. The exit has also brought Kohli's captaincy era to a heartbreaking end. During the ongoing season, Kohli had announced that he will relinquish his T20 captaincy both in the IPL and the Indian cricket. While he said the current IPL season would be last for him as the captain, he will be stepping down as the captain of the Indian T20 cricket team after the upcoming T20 world cup.
With a disappointing end both for Kohli and the fans, the run machine has been poured with a memorable send-off from the captaincy as the fans are giving an emotional send-off to Kohli, who captained the RCB for nearly a decade since 2013, becoming one of the longest-serving captains in the IPL. He is also one of the few cricketers who have played for the same franchise in the IPL.
He had received a youth contract for RCB in 2008 and he was appointed as the RCB captain in 2013 and served till the current season. However, his captaincy had taken a hard blow several times as the team didn't win a single IPL trophy in its history. Kohli has played 199 matches in the IPL and scored 6076 runs with five centuries and forty half-centuries. In what has become a remarkable milestone, Virat Kohli had become the first Indian batsman and fifth overall player to complete 10,000 runs in T20 including IPL.
He achieved this feat while batting against the Mumbai Indians in Dubai in the current season. He leaves the captaincy by being a tenacious and dangerous batsman while bracing up the debacles as a captain. After the loss against the Knight Riders on Monday and getting eliminated from the current season, Kohli has said that he has given his 120 per cent every year. He said, "I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play expressive cricket and belief."
He further stated," It is something I have done with the Indian team level as well. I have given my best. I don't know how the response has been of that, but I can vouch for the fact that I have given 120% to this franchise every year leading the team, which is something I will do now as a player. I don't see myself playing anywhere else. To me, loyalty matters more than other things which from the worldly point of view seem more important. This franchise has believed in me and as I said, my commitment is to this franchise till the last day till I play in the IPL."
Royal Challengers Bangalore had thanked Kohli for his captaincy and the team has been planning to celebrate his contributions to give a gracious send-off. RCB pacer Harshal Patel said that the franchise will celebrate Kohli's contributions over the years and stated Kohli will remain a leader. Harshal said on Monday after the match with KKR, "In terms of his captaincy, there are captains and there are leaders, he is definitely a leader. Just because he won't have the captaincy tag, it doesn't make him any less of a leader."
"So, I just want to thank him (Kohli) for whatever he has contributed to this team and to my growth", Harshal added and said that he had learned a lot playing with Kohli since 2012. The RCB had taken a group pic to add more memories when the social media was stormed by the fans, who have been pouring more love to Kohli. As the RCB skipper, Kohli had led the team in 140 matches and he won 66 and lost 70 as the captain.
On Tuesday, Virat Kohli wrote his last social media message as the RCB captain. He wrote, "Not the result we wanted but I am so proud of the character shown by the boys throughout the tournament. A disappointing end, but we can hold our heads high. Thank you to all the fans, management, & the support staff for your constant support."
💬 💬 I've given my 120% to this franchise leading the team & will continue to do so as a player. 👏 👏@imVkohli reflects on his journey as @RCBTweets captain. #VIVOIPL | #Eliminator | #RCBvKKR pic.twitter.com/XkIXfYZMAj— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 11, 2021
Not the result we wanted but I am so proud of the character shown by the boys throughout the tournament. A disappointing end but we can hold our heads high. Thank you to all the fans, management & the support staff for your constant support. 🙏 @RCBTweets pic.twitter.com/VxZLc5NKAG— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 12, 2021
You’re the epitome and embodiment of what it means to have the #ChallengerSpirit. ❤️— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 12, 2021
Thank you for leading us and showing us the true meaning of #PlayBold. @imVkohli#WeAreChallengers #IPL2021 #ViratKohli #ThankYouCaptainKohli pic.twitter.com/mbQUvNlCy2
"I have tried my best to create a culture where youngsters could come in & play with freedom & belief.I have given 120% to RCB every time, which is something I will now do as a player.”— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 11, 2021
You have been an inspiration, role model and the torchbearer of RCB. #ThankYouCaptainKohli pic.twitter.com/tlC0uMH2iW