New Delhi: Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Monday wished a "happy retirement" to South African speedster Dale Steyn, who announced his retirement from Test cricket, describing him as a "true champion of the game".
"A true champion of the game. Happy retirement to the pace machine @DaleSteyn62 ," Kohli tweeted.
A true champion of the game.— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 5, 2019
Happy retirement to the pace machine @DaleSteyn62 🙏🏼💯
The rivalry between Kohli and Steyn have been intense over the past few years with both players showing off their exemplary skills giving the fans a treat to watch the duo.
Steyn was also associated with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), playing for the franchise first from 2008 to 2010, and then in 2019. In all these instances, Kohli was the captain of the team.
Earlier on Monday, the South African pacer announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect and said he will focus on limited-overs cricket.
Steyn finishes the Test format with 439 wickets from 93 Test matches at an average of 22.95. The 36-year-old is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa in the Test format, as he went past Shaun Pollock in December last year.
Congratulatory messages poured in from all quarters, including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"After 93 Tests and 439 Test wickets, the Proteas speedster today bids adieu to Test cricket. We enjoyed the contest in whites with you. Go well, #DaleSteyn," BCCI tweeted.
Through Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Twitter handle, Steyn said, "It's terrible to consider never playing another Test again but what's more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all. So I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximise my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport."
“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much. In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game. It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally." - @DaleSteyn62 pic.twitter.com/TlYHAQDsME— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) August 5, 2019
Steyn had missed the recently concluded ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in England due to a shoulder injury. He was named in the team's squad for the tournament but was later ruled out.
He represented RCB in this year's IPL season but after playing just two matches, he was ruled out from the tournament after sustaining an injury.