Kohli's nine-year stint as skipper of the RCB ended with a four-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator of the 2021 Indian Premier League at Sharjah on Monday, and the result meant that the Indian skipper bid goodbye to his tenure without winning an IPL title.
During his time at the helm, however, Kohli formed a plethora of special bonds and partnerships, none more popular than the one with AB de Villiers. De Villiers, who joined RCB in 2011, has spent more than 80% of his time at the franchise playing under the leadership of Kohli, and has been the nucleus of the RCB side since making his debut.
Someone who was Kohli's right-hand during his time as RCB skipper, the 37-year-old, in a video posted by the franchise, lavished praise on Kohli, and asserted that he is 'grateful' to have had the privilege of playing under the 32-year-old's leadership.
"I have been here through all the years with Virat as captain and I think the word that comes to mind is 'grateful'. We were very lucky to have had you at the front," de Villiers said in a video posted by the franchise.
"The way you captained this team has inspired everyone, certainly inspired me to become better as a player and a person. You have had a much bigger impact than you will ever understand, it has gone miles. There are stories that you don't even hear of people's lives that you have touched."
Since taking over as RCB's captain in 2013, Kohli has led the team to the play-offs four times, including the last two seasons, and the final in 2016.
Kohli led RCB in 140 matches, winning 66 and losing 70. Four games did not produce any results.
De Villiers said Kohli's contribution goes beyond his performance as a skipper or a batter.
"I have known you on the field but away from it as well. You make people believe in themselves, which is much more important than winning a trophy. Which I still believe will come your way," the versatile South African cricketer said.
On his part, Kohli thanked his teammates and said they can "hold their heads high".
"Not the result we wanted but I am so proud of the character shown by the boys throughout the tournament. A disappointing end but we can hold our heads high. Thank you to all the fans, management & the support staff for your constant support," Kohli wrote on his Twitter handle.
(With PTI inputs)