Shahid Afridi hopes Virat Kohli can retire on a high: I hope he can do it in style

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has urged Virat Kohli to time his retirement right, adding that he hopes the star India player will go out on a high much like the way he began his career. Afridi said when Kohli is nearing the end of his celebrated career, he should go out in style.

Virat Kohli, 33-year-old, has shown no intentions of retiring from any format of the game even as some big names are picking and choosing formats amid the ever-growing cricket calendar. Kohli gave up captaincy in T20I cricket and Test cricket in the 2021-22 season and was sacked as ODI captain earlier this year but the star batter has continued to play all formats of the game.

Kohli, who made his international debut in 2008, has been going strong and seems to overcoming a lean path that he was going through over the last few years. Having come back from a back refreshed and rejuvenated, the former captain topped the scoring charts in Asia Cup 2022, scoring 281 runs in 5 matches, including 2 fifties and one century – his maiden 3-figure score in T20I cricket.

“It shouldn’t reach a stage where you are dropped from the team. Instead, retirement should be announced when you are at your peak. It seldom happens though. Very few players, especially cricketers from the Asian region make that decision, but I feel when Virat does it, he will do in a good way and probably end his career in style much like the way he began his career,” Afridi told Samaa TV.

“The way Virat has played, the start that he had to his career, he had overcome struggles and work hard before he made a name for himself. He is a champion and I believe there comes a stage when you are headed towards retirement. At such a stage, the aim should be to go out on a high,” Afridi added.

Kohli has been picking and choosing international series amid a packed schedule and has been one of the leaders when it comes to speaking about the importance of mental health in the cricket community.

Kohli’s place in the T20I side was questioned as he endured a difficult phase in the shortest format of the game in 2022. After failing to impress in IPL 2022 in which he averaged less than 25, Kohli had scored only 81 runs in 4 T20Is. However, Kohli opted for a break and skipped India’s tour of West Indies and Zimbabwe and returned to scoring ways in the Asia Cup.

Kohli stressed the importance of the break, saying he was able to put things into perspective and understand the need to be not desperate when going through a lean patch.

“When I came back I was not desperate. After six weeks off I was refreshed. I realised how tired I was. Competitiveness doesn’t allow it, but this break allowed me to enjoy the game again,” Kohli said after scoring his 71st international hundred in Dubai.

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