At 33, Virat Kohli has at least three-four more years of cricket left in him if not more. Kohli, the former India captain, has been the face of Indian cricket even before MS Dhoni retired. Reaching the pinnacle of batting and then captaining the Indian team en route to becoming the most successful Test skipper, Kohli has left an unmatched legacy, one that will require a herculean effort to match. With every match, Kohli registers some or the other record which proves the greatness of the man.
But like all good things, Kohli’s career too will eventually draw curtains, and when the time comes, it will be interesting to see the note he leaves on. The past two years haven’t been the greatest for Kohli, as the former India captain struggled to score centuries which he would once peel off almost every series with ease. But having taken a break and scoring a century against Afghanistan – his maiden T20I hundred – in the recently-concluded Asia Cup 2022 might just be the second wind Kohli’s career needed at this stage.
Weighing in on the prospect of Kohli’s future retirement, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi lauded Virat for a stellar career and believes that when the time comes, he expects the star batter to go out on a high rather than being a pale shadow of his dominating self.
“The way Virat has played, the start that he had to his career, there was struggle initially before he made a name for himself. He is a champion and I believe there comes a stage when you are headed towards retirement. But in that scenario, the aim should be to go out on a high,” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
With Kohli playing all three formats, it is only a matter of time before he gives up one to concentrate on the other two, like England’s Ben Stokes recently did. With players from the sub-continent not known to time their retirements right, Afridi is confident Kohli, with almost 24000 international runs, will be an exception and end his career at the peak of his batting prowess.
“It shouldn’t reach a stage where you are dropped from the team and instead when you are at your peak. It seldom happens though. Very few players, especially cricketers from Asia Cup make that decision, but I feel when Virat does it, he will do it style and probably in the same manner in which he started his career,” the former all-rounder added.