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Monday, July 15, 2024

Virat Kohli Bids Farewell to T20 Internationals

Virat Kohli announces his retirement from T20 internationals after leading India to a thrilling seven-run victory over South Africa in the T20 World Cup 2024 final.

India clinched a thrilling victory over South Africa by seven runs in the T20 World Cup 2024 final at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday. This triumph marked India’s second T20 World Cup title, joining the elite club of England and the West Indies. The Men in Blue previously won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, defeating Pakistan in a memorable final.

The victory seemed unlikely as South Africa, chasing 177, were in a strong position after a 68-run partnership between Quinton de Kock and Tristan Stubbs. However, India’s never-give-up attitude shone through in the final overs. Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya turned the tide in the 16th and 17th overs, restricting South Africa to 169-8. Pandya took three crucial wickets, while Arshdeep Singh and Bumrah claimed two each.

Kohli’s Final Hurrah

Virat Kohli, who has been a linchpin for Indian cricket, announced his retirement from T20 internationals after being named Player of the Match. Kohli’s 76 runs off 59 balls were instrumental in setting a challenging target of 176-7. Reflecting on his career, the 35-year-old said, “This was my last T20 World Cup, and this is what we wanted to achieve. One day you feel you can’t get a run, then things happen. God is great, and I got the job done for the team on the day it mattered.”

Kohli’s performance in the final was a redemption of sorts, given his struggles throughout the tournament. Prior to the final, he had managed just 75 runs in seven innings, averaging 10.71. His stellar innings on Saturday, however, showcased his class and determination. “This was an open secret; it’s time for the next generation to take over,” Kohli added, emphasizing the need for fresh talent to continue India’s T20 journey.

Passing the Torch

Current India skipper Rohit Sharma praised Kohli‘s resilience, stating, “Virat is a quality player. When you have played for 15 years, form is never a problem. He’s probably saving it for the final.” Sharma himself contributed significantly throughout the tournament and in the final, his leadership pivotal in India’s success.

Read More: India Clinches Thrilling Victory in T20 World Cup Final

The game had its tense moments, especially when Heinrich Klaasen took Axar Patel for 22 runs in the 15th over. Pandya’s removal of Klaasen at 52 marked the turning point. South Africa needed 16 runs in the final over, but Pandya’s composure ensured India’s victory. Suryakumar Yadav’s spectacular boundary catch to dismiss David Miller was a highlight, demonstrating India’s exceptional fielding.

India’s journey to the title was marked by teamwork and individual brilliance. Kohli’s final T20I innings brought his career tally to 4188 runs in 125 matches, averaging 48.69. His legacy, coupled with the emergence of new stars, sets a promising future for Indian cricket. As Kohli steps down, his contributions will inspire the next generation to keep the Indian flag waving high in the world of T20 cricket.