Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has had a massive role in how Virat Kohli's international career has shaped up, believes ex-India pacer Ajit Agarkar. Kohli, one of the few players who have stuck with the same franchise since the inception of the Indian Premier League, has been leading the Bangalore-based outfit since 2013.
Yet to win maiden IPL title, RCB have started off well this year, registering a hat-trick of wins at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. This IPL edition is Kohli's ninth season as the RCB skipper. The 32-year-old's best season for the franchise came in 2016 where he scored more than 900 runs including four centuries and seven half-centuries.
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Agarkar feels being the captain of a franchise with a 'big' fan base has helped Kohli in dealing with pressure situations.
"Massive! We saw how quick his progress in international cricket has been. So, when you do well there, you are already confident, but then, to be captain of a franchise with such a big fan base, and be as consistent as he is, it certainly helped.
"You're under pressure every day when you go out to play for RCB. Playing for India is just as big or bigger, but you still are under pressure day in and day out," said Agarkar in Star Sports' show 'Cricket Connected'.
"When you keep getting runs, you know your psyche is just built and you are at ease with your game and he has done that. I think being captain and getting runs certainly has helped him in his international career as well. I'm sure he'd say that IPL has had a huge say on his career as overall as it has panned out," he added.
Hoping to keep the momentum going, Kohli's RCB will take on Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. RCB edged past defending champions Mumbai Indians in the season opener before defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. Ab de Villiers and new-recruit Glenn Maxwell have been the standout players for RCB so far.