Virat Kohli, one of India’s cricketing maestros, has been a pillar of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise in the exciting and pulsating world of the Indian Premier League (IPL). His time in the IPL has been a wild ride characterised by constant changes in leadership and strategy. This article examines the five IPL captains Virat Kohli has played for, providing a timeline of his rise to prominence in the world’s most-watched Twenty20 tournament.
Virat Kohli’s first captain in the IPL was none other than the “Wall” of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid. It was 2008 when the IPL first stepped foot in the cricketing globe. The Royal Challengers Bangalore’s maiden season was led by Dravid. Only four wins out of fourteen games in IPL 2008 was far from impressive.
Even then, Virat Kohli was only a rising star, and he failed to make an impression in that season, scoring just 165 runs in 13 games. In spite of the difficulties, Kohli’s promise was clear.
RCB’s rotation of captains continued throughout the IPL season. The franchise paid a hefty fee to get Kevin Pietersen in IPL 2009 and gave him the captaincy. Unfortunately, Pietersen’s resignation as captain halfway through the season cut short their time working together.
RCB struggled throughout Pietersen’s stint, winning only two of six games. However, Kohli scored 246 runs in 16 games during IPL 2009 to demonstrate his developing skills.
Anil Kumble, a legend in his own time, took over as captain after that. Kumble was an excellent leader because of his extensive experience and knowledge of cricket. The Royal Challengers Bangalore went on a phenomenal run under his leadership and met the Deccan Chargers in the IPL 2009 final, which they lost by a single run.
Anil Kumble served as the leader throughout the 2010 season. Kumble, however, retired from the IPL before the 2011 mega-auction. After he stopped playing, he stayed involved with RCB as a coach. As his star continued to rise, Virat Kohli was the only player RCB decided to keep before the big auction.
Daniel Vettori, a former New Zealand all-rounder, captained RCB in the 2011 Indian Premier League season. The combination of Vettori’s talents and cricket knowledge was unparalleled. Under his leadership, RCB won 15 of 28 games (over two seasons).
Vettori’s continued involvement with the Royal Challengers Bangalore after he retired as a player came in the form of a new position: head coach. The team’s success was still being shaped by his wise counsel.
Here we are in IPL 2022, and RCB made a huge splash by purchasing Faf du Plessis in the mega-auction. The South African batsman wasn’t only acquired for his batting skills; he was also made captain. Faf du Plessis boldly assumed the role of leader.
The revitalised RCB team, led by du Plessis, advanced to the playoffs of the IPL 2022. In 2023, they were unable to repeat their victory and were eliminated in the group stage, although du Plessis continued to hold the reins of leadership.
In the ever-changing IPL, Virat Kohli has seen many different captains come and go, and all of them have left their imprint on his career. Cricketers are shaped by their leaders, and Virat Kohli’s development as a player has been inextricably linked to that of Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and Faf du Plessis.
We’ve come to the end of our examination of the five IPL captains Virat Kohli has served under, and it’s become clear that the league is more than simply a cricketing spectacular thanks to the leadership and friendship of these individuals.