South African legend AB de Villiers recently shared his thoughts on the future of Indian cricket icon Virat Kohli in ODIs ahead of the World Cup. In a candid conversation, de Villiers made a compelling observation about Kohli’s potential retirement from the format.
Historically, many former cricketers, including Michael Clarke, Shane Bond, Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales, and Steven Finn, decided to retire from international cricket at the age of 34. However, Virat Kohli, currently 34 years old, remains a dominant force in the cricketing world. He continues to spearhead the Indian team with the bat across all formats.
Kohli’s recent performances are a testament to his enduring excellence. He achieved a remarkable century against Pakistan during the Asia Cup. Kohli even played a pivotal role in India’s victory in the tournament, which precedes the upcoming ICC World Cup.
While Kohli was rested for the first two games of the Australia series, he is set to return for India’s final 50-over match before the World Cup. If India wins the World Cup on home soil, will Kohli contemplate bidding farewell to the ODI format?
AB de Villiers, the legendary South African cricketer, weighed in on this possibility. He suggested that it “might not be a bad time” for Kohli to retire from ODIs.
“I know he would love to visit South Africa (for the 2027 World Cup), but it’s hard to say. It will be a while before then. Virat Kohli probably would suggest you concentrate on this issue first. It may not be a terrible idea to express gratitude if they win this World Cup, in my opinion. He could simply play some IPL and Test cricket over the coming years, enjoy the last few years of his career, spend enough time with his family, and then say farewell to everyone,” De Villiers said on his YouTube channel.
De Villiers, who shared the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) dressing room with Kohli during their Indian Premier League (IPL) stints, himself retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 37.
“However, Kohli is in fantastic form and is still conscious. I believe it’s a terrific idea that he’s occasionally taken a break. I believe the hunger and the fire will still be there,” he added.
Kohli’s recent accomplishments include breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s world record for the fastest century in ODIs. He is also closing in on Tendulkar’s record for the most ODI centuries. He needs just two more to surpass the Master Blaster.
AB de Villiers emphasized that Kohli’s main focus is not personal records but rather contributing to team success and winning World Cups.
“I don’t believe that’s his main concern. His major motivation is not that. He has never been a man who is all about himself. Virat aspires to help his team succeed in all game formats and win World Cups for his squad. He is a team player, and you can see that on the pitch even with all those feelings showing. There is nothing really in it for him, particularly when he is fielding, but you could feel that passion, which tells you how much it matters to him to win,” De Villiers concluded.