‘Maybe just play Test cricket and IPL’: AB de Villiers picks right time for Virat Kohli to retire

Last updated: September 26, 2023, 11:53 IST

Virat Kohli is considered one of the best batsmen in the game.  (AP Photo)

Virat Kohli is considered one of the best batsmen in the game. (AP Photo)

Virat Kohli is now in his mid-thirties but is still fit as he remains a key cog in India’s one-day and Test teams.

What is the right time to retire?

Well, there is no single right answer to this, but the most common and ideal advice that is often given is to quit when you are at the top. But the temptation to continue and maximize good performance has often failed.

In just over a month, one of the finest batsmen to grace the game, Virat Kohli, will turn 35 and will be a year closer to reaching the end of his illustrious playing career.

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However the aging star refuses to slow down. Kohli is still fit, bowling quickly between the wickets, remains one of the finest fielders and remains at the top of his game with the bat.

The big question arises that what would be the ideal time for Kohli to bid goodbye to his career?

His former IPL teammate AB de Villiers believes that Kohli does not think too far ahead about the future and for now his focus will be on the 2023 ODI World Cup which starts in less than 10 days from now.

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However, he believes the ideal scenario would be if India win the World Cup and Kohli possibly leaves the one-day format.

“I know he would love to travel to South Africa (for the 2027 World Cup), but it is very difficult to say. There is still a lot of time left. Let’s focus on this first, I think that’s what Virat Kohli will tell you. I think if they win this World Cup, it wouldn’t be a bad time to say, ‘Thank you very much.’ I’ll probably play Test cricket for the next few years and play a bit of IPL, enjoy the last bit of my career, spend enough time with my family and say goodbye to everyone,” de Villiers said on his YouTube channel.

“But he is in incredible condition and is still mentally there. He has been given rest from time to time, which I think is a good step. So, I think the hunger and the fire will still be there.”

Kohli has had a memorable career so far and he is currently inching closer to claiming Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time ODI record of most centuries.

Kohli needs two more centuries to match his former teammate and one more century to overtake the great batsman, which he could do only during the World Cup.

De Villiers says that Kohli is someone who is never motivated by personal records and he wants to win trophies for his team.

“I don’t think he’s focused on it. That is not his main inspiration. He has never been a man like me. He wants to win the World Cup for his team and be part of a successful unit across all formats of the game. He is a team player and on the field you see all the emotions coming out. Especially when he is fielding, there is really nothing for him to achieve, but you can see the emotion in that, which tells you how much winning means to him,” de Villiers. he said.

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