Kohli aims to cap stellar season with IPL title

BANGALORE • Virat Kohli will be eyeing a fairytale ending to a record-breaking cricket season today, when he leads the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League final against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bangalore.

Kohli has been in the form of his life since the recent World Twenty20, where he was instrumental in taking India to the semi-finals.

The 27-year-old was named player of the tournament after scoring 273 runs in five matches at an average of 136.50, and he has again been in a class of his own in this edition of the IPL.

He shattered the previous best aggregate in a season by scoring 919 runs, including four centuries and six fifties. He has also gained kudos for his captaincy during Bangalore's roller-coaster ride to the final.

After a disappointing start to the tournament which left them bottom of the table at one stage, Kohli inspired them to a charge up the table for a second-place finish.

TALENTED AND COMMITTED

He is a special talent and he works hard on his game. His discipline and commitment has to be emulated.

SACHIN TENDULKAR, Indian cricket legend, on the talent of Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli.

Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar said that, in a format where the ability to hit big sixes was once seen as the key to success, Kohli had prospered by playing good cricketing shots.

"He is a special talent and he works hard on his game," Tendulkar told Gulf News. "His discipline and commitment has to be emulated. He visualises different formats without ever compromising on his technique. In addition, he is very strong mentally and thrives in pressure situations."

As for their final opponents Hyderabad, skipper David Warner too has been in good form, the Australian second in the scoring chart behind Kohli with 779 runs.

"The final is about not worrying about their players and executing our plans," he said.

The venue of the final had to be switched to Bangalore after judges banned Mumbai from hosting matches at a time when the state of Maharashtra has been blighted by drought.

Neither of the finalists have won the tournament, which is now in its ninth year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

Final: StarHub Ch238, 10.20pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Kohli aims to cap stellar season with IPL title'. Print Edition | Subscribe