“It might not be a bad time…”: AB de Villiers makes a bold statement on Virat Kohli's retirement

Kohli is expected to play a key role for India in the upcoming ODI World Cup at home.

Virat Kohli | GettyNot long ago, Virat Kohli was struggling for runs across all formats of the game. The star Indian batter endured an extended lean patch as he failed to score an international century for almost three years.

Amid the lean patch, Kohli decided to take a break from the game after the England tour last year. On his comeback in the Asia Cup 2022, the right-hander instantly made an impact as he finished as the second highest run-scorer. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.

Virat was the top run-getter in the 2022 edition of T20 World Cup in Australia, scoring 296 runs from six innings, including a match-winning knock of 82 not out in 53 balls against arch-rivals Pakistan at MCG.

After regaining his old mojo, Kohli is now hitting centuries for fun in international cricket. He has slammed five international hundreds (two in Tests and three in ODIs) this year so far besides a couple of tons in the IPL 2023 season for RCB.

Virat Kohli’s most recent century was against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023. He smashed 122* off 94 balls in the Super 4 match in Colombo to script India’s crushing 228-run victory.

With the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 around the corner, South African legend AB de Villiers has made a bold statement on Kohli.

According to De Villiers, it might not be a bad time for the 34-year-old Kohli to call time on his illustrious ODI career if India manage to lift the World Cup at home.

"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.

"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," he added.

Virat Kohli’s Asia Cup century against Pakistan was his 47th ODI ton and he is now only three hundreds away from surpassing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 49 centuries in the 50-over format.

“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 remarked.


By Salman Anjum - 26 Sep, 2023

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