What do Michael Clarke, Shane Bond, Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales, and Steven Finn all have in common? They’ve all announced their retirements at the age of 34. At an age when many star cricketers chose to end their careers, Virat Kohli, who remains in exceptional form, is set to lead India’s charge at the ICC World Cup, the grandest stage in the sport.
Kohli, having achieved nearly every accolade in world cricket, shows no signs of slowing down. The former Indian captain remains the go-to batsman for the Men In Blue in all formats. At 34 years old, he recently smashed a record-breaking century against Pakistan during the Asia Cup. Kohli played a pivotal role in India’s Asia Cup victory, guiding Rohit and the team to triumph over Pakistan and Sri Lanka before the World Cup.
After being rested for the first two matches of the three-game series against Australia, Kohli will make his return to One Day International (ODI) cricket in India’s final 50-over fixture before the 2023 ICC World Cup. Should India win the World Cup on home turf, will Kohli contemplate retiring from his illustrious ODI career? Renowned South African cricketer AB de Villiers believes “it might not be a bad time” for the batting maestro to bid farewell to one of the purest formats of the game.
“I know he enjoys the prospect of playing in South Africa for the 2027 World Cup, but it’s difficult to predict,” said De Villiers. “That’s what Virat Kohli might tell you—let’s focus on this World Cup first. I think if they win this World Cup, it might be a good moment to say, ‘Thank you very much. I might just focus on Test cricket for the next few years, play a bit of IPL, spend quality time with my family, and bid farewell to everyone,'” De Villiers suggested on his YouTube channel.
ABD, as he is nicknamed, once shared the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locker room with Kohli during their Indian Premier League (IPL) days. De Villiers himself retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 37. He played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, 78 T20Is, and 184 IPL matches from 2004 to 2021. Kohli, his former RCB teammate, has already featured in 111 Tests, 280 ODIs, 115 T20Is, and 237 IPL games. “But he is in incredible shape and remains mentally sharp. He has been strategically rested from time to time, which I believe is a wise move. So, I anticipate that his hunger and passion for the game will persist,” De Villiers expressed his opinion.