The question of when to retire from cricket is a complex one, especially for players like Virat Kohli, who have reached the pinnacle of the sport. Kohli, who will turn 35 in just over a month, remains at the top of his game and continues to be a vital part of the Indian cricket team. While many suggest that retiring at the peak is ideal, Kohli’s former IPL teammate AB de Villiers believes that Kohli’s focus is on the 2023 ODI World Cup, which is just days away.
AB de Villiers acknowledges that Kohli is in incredible shape, both physically and mentally. He remains a dynamic fielder, an agile runner between the wickets, and a formidable batsman. The question of when Kohli should retire is a subject of speculation among cricket enthusiasts. De Villiers believes that winning the upcoming World Cup could be the ideal scenario for Kohli to consider retiring from the one-day format.
“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,'” AB de Villiers said on his YouTube channel.
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However, De Villiers also acknowledges that Kohli’s hunger and determination remain strong, and he has been rested strategically to preserve his energy. Kohli is on the verge of breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most centuries in ODI cricket and needs just two more centuries to match the legendary batsman.
According to De Villiers, Kohli is not motivated by personal records but by his desire to win trophies for the team. He describes Kohli as a team player who is emotionally invested in the game, even when fielding, where there is little personal gain.
“I don’t think that is his focus. That is not his main drive. He has never been an ‘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,” AB de Villiers emphasized.
As cricket fans eagerly await the 2023 ODI World Cup, the future of Virat Kohli’s ODI career remains a topic of speculation, and only time will reveal when the Indian cricket icon decides to step away from the format.