Big Two retire from T20s

Bridgetown (Barbados): After guiding the Blues to an outstanding World Cup success, Team India’s big two — Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli — have decided to pass the batting baton on to the next generation. The greats announced their retirements from T20 internationals at the vibrant Kensington Oval here.

“This is my last T20 game playing for India, the last World Cup I was going to play. I wanted to make the most of it and win an ICC tournament,” Kohli said after being awarded the Man of the Match for his 76 against South Africa in the final.

“This was my last game (T20 international) as well. No better time to say goodbye to this format with which I started my India career. I was desperate for this title. I wanted to win the Cup and say thank you,” Rohit said an hour later, at the press conference.

Rohit leaves the T20s as its highest scorer — 4,231 runs in 159 matches and holds the record for most centuries, five. Kohli is second on the list with 4,188 runs from 125 matches.

Kohli said the team was in safe hands. “There are some amazing players in India, they’re going to take the team forward in the T20 format, and do wonders as we’ve seen them do in the IPL. I have no doubts they’ll keep the flag waving high,” he added.

He was pleased to go out on a high. “It’s been a long wait for us, waiting to win an ICC tournament. Rohit has played nine T20 World Cups, this is my sixth. So he deserves it as much as anyone else in the squad, we’re just happy we were able to get the job done. Rohit and I have spoken many times previously that before we go, we need to win in this format. You can’t imagine these things in your wildest dreams,” Kohli said.

Rohit returned the compliment. “Virat has been a champion player without a doubt. I am very happy for him that he batted like he did in the finals… nice way to sign off from this format,” he said.

Talking of his steady knock in the title round that came off 59 deliveries, Kohli said: “This is an amazing game, I was telling Rohit today when we went out to bat that one day you feel like you can’t get a run, and then you come out and things happen. God is great. I bow my head in gratitude. I’m really grateful that I was able to get the job done for the team when it mattered the most. It was the occasion that helped me put my head down and respect the situation rather than trying to force things out there, and play the game my team wanted me to play.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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