Kohli & Rohit retire from T20 internationals after World Cup win

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – India legends Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have retired from T20 internationals following their World Cup triumph in Barbados.

Kohli was man of the match for his 76 and Rohit became the first India captain to lift a World Cup since 2011 following the captivating seven-run defeat of South Africa.

Rohit, 37, and 35-year-old Kohli are number one and two respectively on the all-time list of T20 international run-scorers.

“I’ve loved every moment of this,” said Rohit. “I started my India career playing this format. This is what I wanted. I wanted to win the cup and say thank you.”

On former captain Kohli, Rohit said: “He’s been a champion player without a doubt. We all know what he has done for us.

“At some point everyone has to say goodbye to the game and Virat was very clear that this is what he wanted to do.”

Both men will continue to be available for India in Tests and one-day internationals.

Kohli had endured a difficult World Cup, with only 75 runs in seven innings before his important knock in the final lifted India to 176-7.

South Africa needed only 30 runs from the final five overs, but they wilted in the face of some superb India death bowling, and Suryakumar Yadav’s all-time great catch to remove David Miller in the 20th over effectively sealed the match.

Clearly emotional on receiving his player-of-the-match award, Kohli said: “This is my last T20 game playing for India, my last World Cup I was going to play.

“I wanted to make the most of it. And this was our aim. We wanted to lift the cup.

“I’m really grateful I was able to get the job done for the team when it mattered the most.”

Kohli ends with 4,188 runs from 125 T20 internationals, just behind Rohit’s tally of 4,231. Rohit’s 159 caps is also the most for any man and his five centuries is also a record, shared with Australia’s Glenn Maxwell.

Rohit and Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan are the only men to feature in every T20 World Cup, the first edition of which was held in 2007, which India won.

India’s last World Cup success in any format came in the 50-over version in 2011.

They have lost two finals in the past year: the World Test Championship final to Australia at The Oval last summer, then the 50-over final on home soil in Ahmedabad to the same opponents in November.

“It was very emotional, I wanted this badly,” said Rohit. “I was very desperate for this in my life so I’m happy we crossed the line this time.

“This has to be the greatest time, only because how of desperately I wanted to win this.

“All the runs that I’ve scored in all these years, it does matter, but I’m not big on stats and all of that. Winning games for India, winning trophies for India, that is what I look forward to all the time.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *