For the first time since 2019, Royal Challengers Bangalore have played to make the playoffs in an IPL season, thus ending their streak of three consecutive seasons. A loss against defending champions Gujarat Titans at the Chinnaswamy saw RCB loss the battle to Mumbai Indians for the final spot in the playoffs and eventually settled for the sixth spot in the table. A day after the heartbreaking defeat, Virat Kohli posted a heart-touching message for RCB fans and Shubman Gill, the player who orchestrated Bangalore’s loss, responded in blockbuster fashion.
The scenario that stood on the final league day of IPL 2023 was that RCB needed a win, if Mumbai Indians beat Sunrisers Hyderabad at home. SRH failed to stop MI and while RCB was expected to make the most of their home conditions to take down GT, they succumbed. A stunning century from Gill trumped Kohli’s second successive ton as RCB lost by six wickets.
A day after the loss, Kohli took to Instagram to thank the RCB fans for their continued support for the franchise. Sharing moments from the final game, Kohli wrote: “A season which had it’s moments but unfortunately we fell short of the goal. Disappointed but we must hold our heads high. To our loyal supporters, grateful for backing us every step of the way. A big thank you to the coaches, management and my teammates. We aim to be back stronger. @royalchallengersbangalore”
Gill responded to it a few hours later. There were no words written, but only had emoticons of the crown, hailing Kohli as the king.
Gill will now turn his focus on Qualifier 1 tie of IPL 2023 where Gujarat will face Chennai Super Kings at the Chepauk on Tuesday. This will be GT’s first ever IPL game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, the venue called as the fortress for CSK, given their staggering record. However, CSK have lost three of their seven homes games this season including their final match of the league phase, against KKR earlier this month.
Kohli, on the other hand, will shift focus to World Test Championship final. He has already left for England as part of Team India’s first batch of players for the big game against Australia starting June 7 at The Oval.