Is Virat Kohli Among The Greatest Players In IPL History?

Virat Kohli is one of the greatest players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history who played 252 matches for Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). He is the only player who has played 250-plus games for a single IPL franchise, starting from the inaugural edition in 2008 to the recently completed 17th season.

Recently, the 2-time orange cap winner became the highest run-scorer in the IPL by achieving 8000+ runs in his IPL career and the most number of 500-plus- runs in a single season. Also, Kohli achieved the most number of centuries and second most number of half-centuries in his IPL career.

Despite having exceptional talent and jaw-dropping records in his career, Kohli’s success rate in IPL is limited by unexpected absences. Since there isn’t any IPL title to his name, certain questions arise about his ability to convert individual achievements into his team’s success. During his tenure as the RCB captain, few experts raised questions about his leadership skills pointing out the lack of strategic planning and nurturing players’ talent.

By delving more deeply into the complexity of Virat Kohli’s IPL story, we can gain detailed insights into his individual records and the unsolved issues surrounding his success in the tournament.

Virat Kohli’s Impressive Records in IPL History

Out of several records, here are the few impressive ones of Virat Kohli highlighted below in detail:

●  Highest Run Scorer in IPL:

With 8,004 runs in 244 innings, Virat Kohli is currently the highest run scorer in IPL history and ranks in the leading position with a huge margin compared to other batters on the list:

  1. Virat Kohli: 8,004 runs
  2. Shikhar Dhawan: 6,769 runs
  3. Rohit Sharma: 6,628 runs
  4. David Warner: 6,565 runs
  5. Suresh Raina: 5,528 runs

●  2-Times Orange Cap Winner:

Virat Kohli was the orange cap winner in the 2016 and 2024 IPL seasons. In 2016, he scored 973 runs in 16 innings with his highest score of 113 runs against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Whereas in 2024, Kohli scored 741 runs in 15 innings once again equalling his best individual score of *113 runs against Rajasthan Royals(RR).

●  Most Number of Centuries:

Virat Kohli ranks at the leading position in the list of batters with the most centuries in IPL as mentioned below:

  1. Virat Kohli: 8 Centuries
  2. Jos Buttler: 7 Centuries
  3. Chris Gayle: 6 Centuries
  4. KL Rahul: 4 Centuries
  5. David Warner: 4 Centuries

●  Second Most Number of Half Centuries:

Virat Kohli ranks 2nd in the list of batsmen who have scored the most half-centuries in IPL as listed below:

  1. David Warner (2009-2024): 62 half-centuries
  2. Virat Kohli (2008-2024): 55 half-centuries
  3. Shikhar Dhawan (2008-2024): 51 half centuries
  4. Rohit Sharma (2008-2024): 43 half centuries
  5. AB de Villiers (2008-2021): 40 half centuries

●  Most 500+ Runs in IPL History:

Virat Kohli in IPL 2024 leveled David Warner’s record of surpassing the 500-run mark in a season for the seventh time. Following are the IPL seasons when Virat Kohli achieved  500+ runs:

  • 2011: 557 runs in 16 matches (ranked as 2nd highest run scorer of the season).
  • 2013: 634 runs in 16 matches (ranked as the 3rd highest run scorer of the season).
  • 2015: 505 runs in 16 matches (ranked as the 5th highest run scorer of the season).
  • 2016: 973 runs in 16 matches  (orange cap winner: ranked as the leading run-scorer of the season)
  • 2018: 530 runs in 14 matches (ranked as 7th highest run scorer of the season).
  • 2023: 639 runs in 14 matches (ranked as 7th highest run scorer of the season).
  • 2024: 741 runs in 15 innings (orange cap winner: ranked as the leading run-scorer of the season)

Unsolved issues surrounding Virat Kohli’s success in IPL

Here are the persisting issues and hardships that overshadow Virat Kohli’s success in IPL:

●  Without an IPL Title: A Severe Missing Piece in Kohli’s Legacy

Despite his best contribution with his consistent batting performance for Royal Challengers Bengaluru and his solid leadership skills for 9 seasons (from 2013 to 2021), Kohli wasn’t able to lift the IPL trophy even once. Also, RCB reached the IPL finals 3 times (in 2009, 2011, and 2016)  and playoffs six times (2010, 2015, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2024) but they haven’t won a single title, which creates a significant gap in Virat Kohli’s IPL career.

●  Failure to retain quality players: Too much dependence on Kohli

The RCB franchise couldn’t retain their key players and allowing them to depart was a big blow. Otherwise, several talents would have been the backbone of the team and the entire batting unit wouldn’t depend too much on Virat Kohli. Although Kohli remains the pillar of the team, the absence of key players diminished the overall strength of RCB.

●  Lack of attempts to groom players: A Critical Issue

Despite being honored as one of the great captains in cricket, Virat Kohli doesn’t have an impressive track record in grooming and nurturing young talents during his stint as an RCB skipper. Although there were other promising players like Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, and several others, Virat Kohli and the RCB management have failed to extract their best potential. Releasing these players resulted in contributing their best efforts to other franchises.

Sidhu — IPL Will Never Be Same After Virat & Dhoni’s Retirement


Finally, Virat Kohli ranks as the greatest player in IPL history in terms of individual records. Based on his current achievements, it is challenging for the current batsmen to surpass his records in the upcoming seasons.

Furthermore, Kohli aims to solidify his status as the greatest IPL player ever. In that case, he should concentrate on the above-mentioned issues, despite not being the captain, and provide his valuable guidance to the experienced and young players of RCB. As a result, the RCB management shouldn’t put pressure on Kohli and rather plan to include the best quality batters and bowlers in the squad to deliver exceptional performance and win their first IPL trophy in the next season.  

Ultimately, Virat Kohli’s legacy is unmatched and sets a new trend for the upcoming generation of cricketers to follow.

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