Kohli aiming to crown incredible IPL campaign


Virat Kohli will have the opportunity to round off a sensational Indian Premier League campaign in style on Sunday, when Royal Challengers Bangalore face first-time finalists Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final.

Bangalore's success in 2016 has owed much to the sparkling form of Kohli and AB de Villiers, who sit first and third in the competition's list of leading run-scorers.

While De Villiers was integral to the victory over Gujarat Lions that booked RCB's place in a third final, striking 79 not out from 47 balls, Kohli has been the undoubted player of the tournament and needs just 81 runs to become the first man to score 1,000 in an IPL season.

Kohli has struck four centuries and six fifties, while averaging a scarcely believable 84 across 15 matches to date.

And if the prospect of containing Kohli and De Villiers was not daunting enough for the Sunrisers, Bangalore can also call upon the likes of Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, two further players with vast experience at the highest level and the ability to produce devastating innings.

The Royal Challengers will also have the advantage of playing on home soil at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, but are unlikely to underestimate opponents boasting an in-form batsman of their own in David Warner.

Sunrisers skipper Warner struck 92 to guide his team to victory over RCB when the teams last met on April 30, and went one better with an unbeaten 93 as Hyderabad beat Gujarat on Friday to reach the final.

Only Kohli has contributed more runs than Warner in this year's IPL and the Sunrisers also have the tournament's most potent wicket-taker in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has 23 scalps.

The economical Mustafizur Rahman is another key member of Hyderabad's attack, but could miss out due to the hamstring injury that sidelined him last time out.

Bangalore's previous final appearances came in 2009 and 2011, when they suffered defeats to Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings.