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AB de Villiers’ Insightful Prediction on the Potential ODI Retirement of India Legend Virat Kohli

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In the world of cricket, legends often know when to call time on their illustrious careers, and age, despite the skills and passion that endure, becomes a deciding factor. Michael Clarke, Shane Bond, Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard, Alex Hales, and Steven Finn—all former cricketing luminaries—chose to retire from international cricket at the age of 34. However, in the midst of this trend, a resolute Virat Kohli, still in the prime of his career, is gearing up to lead India’s charge at the upcoming ICC World Cup, a stage where dreams are realized and legacies cemented.

Virat Kohli, a cricketer who has scaled almost every peak world cricket has to offer, shows no signs of slowing down. The former Indian captain remains the linchpin of the Men in Blue across all formats. At the age of 34, he recently smashed a record-breaking century against Pakistan during the Asia Cup. Kohli played a pivotal role in India’s triumph at the Asia Cup, where Rohit Sharma and company outshone rivals like Pakistan and Sri Lanka to clinch the coveted trophy just ahead of the World Cup.

As India prepares for the final One Day International (ODI) against Australia before the ICC World Cup 2023, a question lingers in the minds of cricket enthusiasts: Could Kohli contemplate retiring from the ODI format if India emerges victorious on home turf? AB de Villiers, the legendary South African cricketer, offers an intriguing perspective, suggesting that ‘it might not be a bad time’ for the batting maestro to bid farewell to one of cricket’s purest formats.

De Villiers, who shared the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) locker room with Kohli during their Indian Premier League (IPL) stints, shared his insights on his YouTube channel. The former South African cricketer, nicknamed ABD, retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 37. Over his illustrious career from 2004 to 2021, he participated in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, 78 T20Is, and 184 IPL matches. In contrast, his former RCB teammate, Kohli, has already notched up 111 Tests, 280 ODIs, 115 T20Is, and 237 IPL appearances.

Reflecting on Kohli’s prospects, De Villiers stated, “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.” Kohli’s unwavering commitment to fitness and his unwavering mental fortitude have been key attributes throughout his career.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Kohli’s ODI journey is his relentless pursuit of records. He recently shattered Sachin Tendulkar’s world record with a scintillating century against Pakistan at the Asia Cup. Over the years, Kohli has rewritten numerous batting records, and he now stands just two centuries away from surpassing Tendulkar’s record tally of ODI centuries. It is worth noting that Sachin Tendulkar remains the first and only player to score 100 centuries in international cricket.

However, for Kohli, personal records have never been the sole focus. AB de Villiers, who knows him well from their time together at RCB, emphasized, “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.”

As cricket fans eagerly await the ICC World Cup 2023 and the potential glories it may bring, the speculation surrounding Virat Kohli’s ODI future remains an intriguing subplot. Will the Indian maestro choose to say “Thank you very much” to ODI cricket if India secures World Cup victory on home soil? Only time will tell, but the legacy of this remarkable cricketer, driven by the pursuit of team success over personal milestones, continues to grow with each innings.

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