• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Virat Kohli retires from T20 internationals after India win World Cup

Kohli, who had a poor run with the bat in the tournament, scored the highest score for his team in the title round — 76 — that paved the way for victory.

GROS ISLET, SAINT LUCIA – JUNE 24: Virat Kohli of India during the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 Super Eight match between Australia and India at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on June 24, 2024 in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

ACE India batter Virat Kohli on Saturday (29) announced his retirement from T20 internationals after his team beat South Africa by seven runs in the final of the T20 World Cup 2024 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown in Barbados.

Speaking to commentator Harsha Bhogle after the match, he said it was his last T20 match and World Cup and that it was time for the next generation to take over.

Kohli, who had a dry run with the bat throughout the tournament, scored 76 in the final — the highest for his team — in just 59 balls. He was picked as the player of the match.

Read: India win T20 World Cup 2024, beat South Africa in final

“This is my last T20 game playing for India, my last World Cup I was going to play,” the ace cricketer said after the match.

“I wanted to make the most of it. And this was our aim. We wanted to win an ICC tournament, we wanted to lift the cup. As I said, it was the occasion that helped me put my head down and respect the situation rather than trying to force things out there, and play the game my team wanted me to play.

“Yes, I have. This was an open secret, it was not something that I was not going to announce if we’d lost,” Kohli said when Bhogle asked him to confirm whether he was retiring.

“This was going to be my last T20 World Cup playing for India, it’s time for the next generation to take over. Two-year cycle, there are some amazing players playing in India, they’re going to take the team forward in the T20 format, and do wonders as we’ve seen them do in the IPL. I’ve no doubts they’ll keep the flag waving high, and really take this team further from here now.”

The batter, who looked emotional as well as drained out, said, “Look, it’s been a long wait for us, waiting to win an ICC tournament. It’s not just me alone, you look at someone like Rohit [Sharma, the captain] as well. He’s played nine T20 World Cups, this is my sixth. So he deserves it as much as anyone else in the squad…”

Kohli and India narrowly missed winning the 50-over World Cup last year when they were beaten by Australia in the final after winning all matches till then. Kohli was adjudged as the player of the series after he scored more than 750 runs in the tournament.

Kohli in T20 internationals

The 35-year-old made his debut in the shortest format in 2010 against Zimbabwe and in 125 games till Saturday’s final, he has scored 4,188 runs at an average of 48.69 and strike rate of 137.04 with one hundred and 38 fifties, making him the second-highest scorer in the format. Overall, the man has more than 22,000 runs in international cricket with 80 hundreds, second only to compatriot Sachin Tendulkar who has 100.

He has played six T20 World Cups starting from the edition played in Sri Lanka in 2012. He is also the highest scorer in the T20 World Cup with a tally of 1,292 runs in 35 matches.

He averages 58.72 in the marquee tournament and has a strike rate of 128.81. He has scored 15 half-centuries in T20 World Cups with the best score being 89 not out.

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