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'Time for next generation to take over': Virat Kohli retires from T20s after India's T20 WC 2024 triumph

Virat Kohli retired from T20 international cricket after leading India to a dramatic 5-run victory over South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 final in Barbados, USA. Kohli's resilient 76 and India's strong bowling secured their first ICC trophy in 11 years, marking a poignant moment as he emphasized the next generation's role in T20 cricket.

'Time for next generation to take over': Virat Kohli retires from T20Is after India's T20 WC 2024 triumph vkp
First Published Jun 30, 2024, 12:01 AM IST

Virat Kohli has announced his retirement from T20 international cricket after a nail-biting win against the South African team in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. During the post-match presentation, he declared that this match marked his final appearance in T20 international cricket, emphasizing that it is now time for the next generation to take over.

Speaking after receiving the Man of the Match award, Kohli expressed, "This was my last T20 World Cup, and achieving this victory was exactly what we aimed for. One day you feel like runs won't come, and then this happens. God is great. It was a now-or-never kind of situation. This was my last T20 game playing for India. We aimed to lift that cup."

India clinch historic T20 World Cup 2024 title with win over SA; break ICC trophy drought after 11 years

Confirming his retirement, Kohli added, "Yes, this was an open secret. It's not something I wouldn't have announced even if we hadn't won. It's time for the next generation to take the T20 game forward."

Reflecting on the long-awaited ICC victory, Kohli shared, "It's been a long wait for us to win an ICC tournament. Look at someone like Rohit Sharma, who's played 9 T20 World Cups, and this is my sixth. He truly deserves it. It's been tough to contain emotions, and I think it'll sink in later. It's an incredible day, and I'm grateful."

Kohli, after leading his team to a challenging total of 177 runs, declared this match as his final appearance in T20Is, emphasizing the need for the next generation to step into the limelight. India's bowlers displayed nerves of steel, defending the target in the final over against a resilient South African batting lineup.

South Africa's pursuit of victory stumbled early as opener Reeza Hendricks departed for just 4 runs, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. Captain Aiden Markram followed suit, managing only 4 runs before falling to Rishabh Pant's delivery off Arshdeep Singh.

However, Quinton de Kock and Tristin Stubbs injected life into South Africa's innings with a brisk 58-run partnership off 38 balls. Stubbs' departure for 31 runs off 21 deliveries, bowled by Axar Patel, briefly halted their momentum. De Kock anchored the innings with a responsible 39 off 31 balls before Arshdeep Singh claimed his wicket.

T20 World Cup 2024 final: Virat Kohli shines as India set target of 177 runs for South Africa

Despite a spirited effort by Heinrich Klaasen, who smashed 52 runs off just 27 balls, including 5 sixes, India's Hardik Pandya's heroics in the final over, backed by sharp fielding, ensured South Africa fell agonizingly short by a mere 5 runs.

Earlier in the game, India faced early setbacks, losing three top-order wickets for 34 runs during the powerplay. However, Virat Kohli's resilient 76 off 59 balls and Axar Patel's aggressive 47 off 31 balls steered India towards a competitive total. Shivam Dube's late cameo of 27 runs further boosted their score, proving pivotal in their quest for the elusive T20 World Cup title.

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