India’s very popular T20 league, known as the Indian Premier League, is all set for its 13th edition. The players and the team have started arriving in UAE for the same. Due to the Corona threat, the league is been held in UAE where the circumstances are way different than in India. The IPL has already been held in UAE in the past and the performance of the league’s star players was not up to the mark at that time. Both, Virat Kohli, the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Rohit Sharma, the captain of Mumbai Indians, have not played well outside India in the IPL.
This time again due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the IPL will be held in UAE from 19th September to 10th November. Well, this is the third time that IPL, an Indian tournament is being played in a foreign country. It was in 2009 that due to the general elections, the tournament was played in South Africa and then in 2014, the first leg of the league was played in UAE. Both the times, Virat and Rohit had performed under expectations.
Talking about Kohli, of the 21 matches he played abroad in the IPL, he scored 351 runs at an average of 23.40 with only 1 half-century (highest 50 runs). Kohli has played a total of 177 matches in the IPL so far, scoring 5,412 runs at an average of 37.84, including five centuries and 36 half-centuries. This means 156 matches that Kohli has played in India; he has scored 5,061 runs at an average of 39.53. Other than his five centuries, he scored 35 half-centuries in home country. Kohli has been with the Royal Challengers Bangalore since its inception in the IPL. In 2009, with 16 matches played in South Africa, he has scored 256 runs at an average of 22.36 and 105 runs from five matches played in UAE in 2014. In the nine innings played in this tournament, he was able to score only 254 runs with the help of two half-centuries.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma has scored 4,898 runs in 188 matches at an average of 31.60 in IPL, including a century and 36 half-centuries. He is the third in the list of batsmen in the tournament after Kohli and Raina. Rohit has scored 446 of his runs on foreign ground. He has played a total of 21 matches in both South Africa and UAE at an average of 24.77, which included two fifties (highest 52). Rohit was a part of the Deccan Chargers in 2009 in South Africa where he scored 362 runs in 16 matches with the help of a half-century. However, five years later in UAE, he managed to score only 84 runs in five matches for his team Mumbai Indians. This also includes the 50 runs innings played against the Chennai Super Kings. In this way, in the remaining four matches, Rohit was able to score just 34 runs. Later in the second leg of the tournament, which was held in India, he improved his performance and was able to score 306 runs in ten matches.
With this kind of a report card, it will be interesting to see how both the captains perform in this IPL edition that is to be held in UAE this year.