'Virat Kohli might say thank you very much if…': AB de Villiers' prediction on India legend's possible ODI retirement

By, New Delhi
Sep 26, 2023 10:49 AM IST

With South Africa AB de Villiers shared his views about Virat Kohli's ODI future ahead of ICC World Cup 2023.

What does Michael Clarke, Shane Bond, Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales and Steven Finn have all in common? All these former cricketers announced their respective retirements at 34. At an age where several star performers of the game decided to call it quits, an in-form Virat Kohli is set to spearhead India's title bid at the grandest stage of them all - the ICC World Cup.

Find out what De Villiers said about Kohli's World Cup swansong(AP-Getty Images)
Find out what De Villiers said about Kohli's World Cup swansong(AP-Getty Images)

Kohli, who has accomplished almost everything world cricket has to offer, is showing no signs of slowing down. The former Indian skipper is still the go-to batter of the Men In Blue across all formats. The 34-year-old slammed a record-breaking century against Pakistan at the Asia Cup. The Indian run machine was instrumental in India's Asia Cup triumph as Rohit and Co. outclassed the likes of Pakistan and Sri Lanka to lift the famous trophy prior to the World Cup.

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Kohli returns for India's final ODI against Australia before World Cup

Rested for the first two games of the three-match Australia series, Kohli will return to the One Day International (ODI) format in India's final 50-over tie before the ICC World Cup 2023. Will Kohli be contemplating calling time on his illustrious ODI career if India win the World Cup at home? Legendary South African cricketer AB de Villiers feels 'it might not be a bad time' for the batting maestro to bid farewell to one of the purest formats of the game.

What De Villiers said about Kohli's World Cup swansong

"I know he loves travelling to South Africa (for the 2027 World Cup), but it's very difficult to say. It is a long time away. Let's focus on this one first, I think that's what Virat Kohli would tell you. I think if they win this World Cup, it might not be a bad time to say, 'Thank you very much. I am maybe just going to play Test cricket for the next few years and a little bit of IPL, enjoy the last bit of my career, have enough family time, and say goodbye to everyone'," De Villiers said on his YouTube channel.

'Kohli in incredible shape'

Nicknamed ABD, the former South African shared the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) lockerroom with Kohli during his Indian Premier League (IPL) days. De Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at 37. The 39-year-old played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, 78 T20Is and 184 IPL games from 2004 to 2021. His former RCB teammate Kohli has already featured in 111 Tests, 280 ODIs, 115 T20Is and 237 IPL matches. "But he is in incredible shape and is mentally still there. He has been rested from time to time, which I think is a great move. So, I think the hunger and the fire will still be there," De Villiers opined.

Can Kohli break Tendulkar's century record?

Kohli shattered Sachin Tendulkar's world record with his brilliant century against Pakistan at the Asia Cup. Over the years, veteran batter Kohli has smashed several batting records of the Master Blaster. The fastest batter to complete 13,000 ODI runs is also two centuries away from surpassing Tendulkar's record tally of ODI tons. Batting legend Tendulkar is the first and only player to score 100 centuries in international cricket.

“I don't think that is his focus. That is not his main drive. He has never been all about myself kind of a guy. He wants to win World Cups for his team and be part of a successful unit in all formats of the game. He is a team player, and that's what you see on the field (with) all those emotions coming out. Especially when he is fielding, there is nothing really to gain for him, but you could see that emotion, which tells you how much it means to him to win,” De Villiers added.

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