Virat
Virat Kohli is 81 runs away from scoring 1,000 runs in IPL 2016 © AFP

Only two Indian players have played for the same franchise ever since the inception of Indian Premier League (IPL): Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli. While the former has won the title twice with Mumbai Indians (MI), Kohli is yet to reach the finishing line for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He has won ICC U-19 World Cup 2007, World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013. However, he’s yet to taste victory in the shortest format, be it IPL or ICC World T20. RCB reached the IPL final in season 2 and 4. And, now, it is their third chance to win one of the most celebrated domestic T20 tournament. Full Cricket Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016 Final

9 years with RCB: In 138 matches Kohli has played for RCB, he has plundered 3116 runs at 130.16, which includes four hundreds and 25 half-centuries. This is the most by any player, who has played for the same franchise since the inception of IPL . He is RCB’s fifth captain and has them in a total of 71 matches, with a winning percentage of 54.41. Under his captaincy, RCB reached the playoffs for the second consecutive time.

Records galore: Until this season, Kohli didn’t have a hundred to his name in T20s. It was on his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s 43rd birthday that he smashed his maiden T20 hundred. Since then, he has been on a rampage. Here’s the list of records he achieved in IPL 2016:

-He became the first player to score four hundreds in an IPL season.

-He became the first player to score 4,000 runs in IPL.

-He became the first Indian to surpass Chris Gayle and Michael Hussey’s 733 runs in an IPL season.

-He became the first player to score 800 and 900-plus runs in an IPL season.

And, he’s 81 runs away from becoming the first player to reach 1,000-run mark in a single season. Given the kind of form he’s in, it wouldn’t be a surprise if reaches this splendid exploit. Read: Virat Kohli better than AB de Villiers, feels Shane Warne

Love affair with 2016: He did all he could to help India win its second ICC World T20 title earlier this year: post as well chase down mammoth totals, acrobatically dive to take blinder of a catch as well as save a certain boundary and bowl when need be. His valiant efforts went in vain, as India failed to beat West Indies in the semi-final. However, he was adjudged Player of the Tournament for scoring 273 runs at a mind-boggling average of 136.50, with a rampant strike-rate of 147.

He was also awarded Player of the Series in a three-match T20 series against Australia in January. As a matter of fact, he became the first player to score three consecutive half-centuries in a bilateral T20Is series. Read: Virat Kohli No.1 batsman in world, says Geoff Lawson

So far in IPL 9, Kohli has scored 919 runs at 83.54, including four centuries and six half-centuries. Overall in 2016, he has bagged 1,544 T20 runs at 96.50, with a strike-rate of 146.62 .

The way he has performed this summer, he is likely to be named the Player of the Tournament of IPL 9, which will be his third consecutive award in 2016.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Will Kohli’s team clinch its maiden IPL trophy at their home ground, is a question only time can answer?

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)