Virat Kohli became the only man to score 500 runs in an IPL season for the fifth time during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s crucial game against Kings XI Punjab in Indore on Monday.
Kohli is currently the leading run-scorer in the history of the IPL. The 29-year-old had a middling time with the bat last year but bounced back in style this season.
Kohli needed 34 runs to get to the landmark before the start of play. The RCB skipper smashed 48 not out as his team fought off Kings XI Punjab to stay alive in this edition of the IPL.
He remains the only player in the IPL to have been with the same team since the inception of the league in 2008. Bought by RCB as an under-19 star 11 years ago, Kohli has gone from strength to strength over the last decade.
RCB bowlers put up an inspired performance, bowling out KXIP for their second lowest total of 88 runs. Kohli, looking to better RCB’s Net Run Rate (NRR) for the battle of play-offs, came out to open and RCB raced off to a 10-wicket victory.
Before today, besides Kohli, there was only man who had gone past the 500-run mark in a season four times: David Warner.
Warner, who lost his IPL contract with SRH after being handed a one-year ban over his role in the ball-tampering scandal, scored 528 runs in 2014, 562 in 2015, 848 in 2016 and 641.
Chennai Super Kings star Suresh Raina is the only batsman to have gone past the 300-run mark in all 11 seasons of the IPL. But even he crossed the 500-run mark only thrice. In 2010, he scored 520 before smashing 548 in 2013 and 523 in 2014.
Kohli’s former RCB teammate Chris Gayle, who was bought by KXIP in 2018, also scored over 500 runs in a season thrice. He scored 608 in 2011, 733 in 2012 and 708 in 2013. In 2015, he came close, scoring 491 runs.
The dangerous AB de Villiers has so far managed the feat only twice with 513 runs in 2013 and 687 in 2016.
Gautam Gambhir, who stepped down as Delhi Daredevils skipper midway into the current season, breached the 500-run mark in a season thrice: 534 in 2008, 590 in 2012 and 501 in 2016.
Sachin Tendulkar scored 618 runs in 2010 and 553 in 2011 for Mumbai Indians.
Shaun Marsh, the winner of the first Orange Cap in 2008 scored 616 in the inaugural edition before compiling 504 in 2011.
Kohli’s close friend and SRH opener Shikhar Dhawan has also done it twice: 569 in 2012 and 501 in 2016 while Robin Uthappa (660 in 2014) and Rohit Sharma (538 in 2013) have gone past 500 runs once each.