The manner in which Shubman Gill‘s century for GT trumped RCB talisman
Virat Kohli‘s ton was indication that a new era has already dawned in Indian Cricket. For now, ‘King’ Kohli’s legacy is in safe hands…
CHENNAI: Virat Kohli is not new to defeats in the IPL. But rarely in his 16-year stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore has his team lost when ‘King Kohli’ got going in the manner that he did on Sunday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
It can be interpreted as a passing-of-the-baton moment in Indian cricket, because it was Shubman Gill’s 104 off 52 balls that overshadowed Kohli’s 101 off 61.
IPL: RCB’s campaign ends after loss to GT, MI through
Aussie legend Matthew Hayden, in an interview with TOI a few days ago, said that Gill is “already there”, proving himself to be the man who will take the legacy of Kohli forward, just the way Kohli did 10 years ago when Sachin Tendulkar left the stage.
The rainy Sunday evening in Bengaluru proved Hayden right. Just as Gill’s knock signified that the radiant Punjab boy is ready to take over the mantle from the Delhi legend, it also indicated an evolution in style. Kohli took 10 balls more to get to his century, which isn’t much, but in today’s context of T20 cricket, where every ball is an event, it is huge.
IPL 2023: Shubman Gill’s record-breaking run
<p>Following his match-winning century for Gujarat Titans in their final IPL league stage match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, Shubman Gill broke more than one record. </p>
<p>With his century, the 23-year-old Gill joined batters who have had an IPL season with 600-plus runs before turning 25. </p>
<p>In the ongoing season, Gill has scored 680 runs at an average of 56.67 at a strike rate of 152.46. </p>
<p>Gill has scored two centuries and four fifties this season, with the best score of 104*. </p>
<p>Shaun Marsh was 24 when he scored 616 runs and emerged as the orange cap winner in the inaugural edition of the league in 2008. </p>
<p>Rishabh Pant (684 runs in 2018 at the age of 20), Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs in 2021 at the age of 24), Yashasvi Jaiswal (625 runs in 2023 at age of 21) are also in the list. </p>
<p>Gill also became the fourth batter to smash consecutive tons in a single IPL season. </p>
<p>Virat Kohli hit consecutive tons in this season itself, with a century against Sunrisers Hyderabad and GT. </p>
<p>Shikhar Dhawan was the first player to score consecutive centuries in 2020. </p>
<p>Jos Buttler capped off his impressive performance as he became the second batter to strike consecutive centuries in 2022. </p>
A closer look at the stats of the two innings will show you that Kohli had hit 13 boundaries and one six, which meant that 58 came from hits to the fence from 14 balls. Gill, on the other hand, hit five boundaries and eight sixes, which meant 68 were scored off 13 balls. That precisely explains the 10-ball difference in getting to their magic marks, which proved crucial in the end in a tight game.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that even on current form, Kohli is lesser to Gill. It’s just the way the two have learnt their games – Kohli isn’t the six-hitting machine that players who have grown up in the T20 era are. For Kohli, hitting an exquisite extra-cover drive to the fence comes more naturally while for Gill, generating that easy power which goes for a six is absolute daal chawal.
Virat Kohli’s record 7 centuries in the IPL
<p>With his century against Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023, RCB icon Virat Kohli surpassed Gayle’s record of 6 centuries and became the leading century hitter in the tournament, which was exclusively in Chris Gayle’s name earlier.(Photo: BCCI/IPL)</p>
<p>Kohli’s 101* off 61 balls against the defending champions Gujarat Titans was Kohli’s record 7th hundred in IPL history. (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>Of the 7 centuries in his IPL career so far, Virat scored four in the 2016 season alone<br /></p>
<p>His maiden IPL ton (100 not out off 63 balls) came against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on 24 April 2016 (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>Virat then scored 108 not out off 58 balls against Rising Pune Supergiants in Bengaluru on 7 May 2016 (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>A week later, Virat scored his third IPL ton, against Gujarat Lions in Bengaluru, on 14 May 2016, when he hammered 109 off 55 balls (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>On 18 May 2016, Virat’s fourth century in the IPL, 113 off 50 balls, came against Kings XI Punjab in Bengaluru (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>Virat’s fifth IPL ton came three years later, on 19 April 2019, when he smashed 100 off 58 balls against KKR in Kolkata (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>It took four years for Virat to score his sixth century, which could prove to be the one that takes RCB to the IPL 2023 playoffs (Photo: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>
<p>In the game against GT, Kohli went on to break Gayle’s tally of 6 centuries and went on to become the leading century hitter in history. Kohli scored 101* off 61 balls at a strike rate of 165.57 with 13 boundaries and a six.</p>
“I love how he goes on the leg side and finds power. That he can do and access because he’s got strong wrists and he’s got beautiful timing,” former Australian paceman Brett Lee said.
When Kohli was slowly establishing himself as India’s No. 1 batsman in the first half of the earlier decade, what stood out was his self-confidence. Sometimes it bordered on brashness, but the young Kohli knew he fed off that energy and adrenaline rush to become the player that he is.
Gill, too, has a similar aura of assurance, just that it is a little more understated. But when he bats, he does it the way he thinks right. Even it means that he sometimes gets out after getting in, which can come across as brain fade. “T20 is such a game that you have to keep playing shots. Sometimes you play good shots that go straight into the hands but it is important to have the intent and the belief,” Gill’s confidence was evident in the way he explained his journey in the IPL after the match-winning knock.
Top-10: Most hundreds in IPL history
<p>The modern-day great is one of the best batters in the world in every format of the game. In the IPL, Kohli is the leading run-getter overall in the tournament. In 237 IPL matches, Kohli broke Gayle’s record of 6 centuries and scored his 7th hundred against GT, which is the most by a player in the IPL history. 113 is his highest IPL score, which was scored against the then Kings XI Punjab in 2016.</p>
<p>When it comes to big hits and scoring big runs, Christopher Henry Gayle’s name will always be on the charts. The ‘Universe Boss’ played 142 IPL matches and smashed 6 hundreds – the second best by a batter after Virat Kohli in IPL history. Gayle’s highest score of 175* was scored against the now defunct PWI in 2013.</p>
<p>English limited overs skipper and Rajasthan Royals’s vital player Jos Buttler is unstoppable when on song and he is third on this list. The 2022 orange cap winner led his side to the finals of the IPL in 2022, but RR eventually lost to Gujarat Titans. Buttler’s highest score of 124 was scored against SRH in 2021.</p>
<p>Warner is regarded as one of the best overseas players who ever played in the IPL. The ‘pocket dynamite’ is hands down one of the most destructive opening batters of all time. In the IPL, Warner has so far smashed 4 hundreds in 176 matches. His highest score of 126 was scored against KKR in 2017.</p>
<p>KL Rahul also has 4 IPL centuries under his belt. As skipper of the new franchise LSG, Rahul led from the front and took his team to the play-offs in the 2022 edition where they lost to RCB. Rahul’s highest score of 132* was scored when he was the skipper of KXIP in 2020 against his previous side RCB.</p>
<p>Dangerous opener Shane Watson is in 6th position of most hundreds by a player in the IPL and the third player who has a tally of 4 hundreds. In 145 IPL matches, Watson’s highest score of 117* was scored against SRH in 2018.<br /></p>
<p>’Mr.360′ was a dynamic player in every format of the game. Especially in the IPL, he gave his best for his team and held a special place in the heart of every RCB fan. de Villiers smashed 3 hundreds in his IPL career overall. The highest score was 133* against MI in 2015.<br /></p>
<p>One of the more talented youngsters who hasn’t yet cemented his place in the Indian team. But there’s no doubting Sanju Samson calibre. He has 3 hundreds in his IPL career so far. The wicket-keeper batter’s highest score is 119, scored against Punjab Kings in 2021.</p>
<p>The “Gabbar” of cricket is known for sensible batting and scoring big runs on big occasions. Dhawan has scored a couple of centuries in his IPL career. He holds the record of scoring consecutive centuries in the IPL. His highest score is 106* which was smashed against Kings XI Punjab in 2020.</p>
<p>Rahane is one of the more underrated players in IPL history. His impact can be rightly gauged when he steps onto the field and starts playing. In 170 IPL matches, Rahane has 2 hundreds with a highest score of 105* which was scored against Delhi Capitals in 2019.</p>
India’s former coach Ravi Shastri, who has seen him grow from close quarters, asked the 24-year-old about his tendency to get out in the 30s and 40s after getting in. Gill didn’t get angry, all he said was, “I know my game. For any player it’s important to know who you are. Yes, I was missing out on the big ones, but I was getting 40s and 50s and thankfully I am getting the big ones now towards the business end.”
That’s good news because there are games of huge consequence lined up over the next few months, starting with a playoff against MS Dhoni’s CSK at Chepauk on Tuesday. The onus is on Gill to walk the talk and keep doing it for his franchise, and more importantly, India.
With Kohli finding form as well, Indian cricket fans may well be in for a treat from the master and the apprentice in the days to come.