New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has suggested talismanic batter Virat Kohli to join Delhi Capitals and move on from the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the franchise was knocked out of IPL 2023 post a six-wicket loss to Gujarat Titans at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
“Time for VIRAT to make the move to the capital city…! #IPL”, wrote Pietersen on his Twitter account after Kohli’s quest to win an IPL trophy ended despite him making his second consecutive century through an unbeaten 101.
Kohli, who entered the Indian team after playing for Delhi in domestic cricket, has been a part of the Bangalore franchise since the tournament’s inception in 2008. Interestingly, Delhi had picked left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan over Kohli during the first-ever IPL player auction, held shortly after the right-handed batter had led India to U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy in Malaysia.
“There was one conversation where I heard from people that the Delhi team was interested to go after me but the dynamics of their team turned out to be such that they went for Pradeep Sangwan — who was a left-arm seamer, amazing bowler, at that time he was our best bowler in U-19.”
“So Delhi decided to go for him because they wanted their bowling strengthened and RCB picked me. In hindsight, I feel it was such an important moment in my life. I didn’t realise it then but now when I look back, things could have been very different to what they are now. I would not have it any other way than this,” said Kohli in an episode of the RCB podcast last year.
As of now, Kohli remains the highest run-scorer in IPL history with 7263 runs in 237 matches, packed with seven centuries and fifty half-centuries. In IPL 2023, he made 639 runs in 14 matches, including two back-to-back centuries and six fifties.
Through his unbeaten 101 against Gujarat which went in vain, Kohli has seven IPL centuries, the most by a batter in the history of the competition, going past his former Bangalore team-mate Chris Gayle. Four of those seven centuries have come at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the most by a batter at an IPL venue.