Better than any written script: Gambhir, Tendulkar, Ashwin laud Rohit and Kohli as the duo bow out of T20Is

After playing a critical role in India's T20 World Cup win both Kohli and Rohit called time on their respective careers in the shortest format.
India's Virat Kohli, left, and captain Rohit Sharma pose with the winners trophy after defeating South Africa in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
India's Virat Kohli, left, and captain Rohit Sharma pose with the winners trophy after defeating South Africa in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.Photo | AP

NEW DELHI: Gautam Gambhir, who is the frontrunner to replace Rahul Dravid as India's head coach, congratulated Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma for bowing out of T20Is with a World Cup win, saying their exit was better than a pre-written script.

After playing a critical role in India's T20 World Cup win both Kohli and Rohit called time on their respective careers in the shortest format.

“They have retired with the World Cup win, and probably better than any script that was written. Both players are great. They have done a lot for Indian cricket, and congratulate them and wish them all the best,” Gambhir told PTI videos.

However, Gambhir hoped that both the stalwarts would keep churning out grand performances in Tests and ODIs.

“But they are going to play two more formats, Test cricket and ODI cricket. I am sure they are going to keep contributing to the country and the team,” said the former opener.

The legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who has seen the careers of both Kohli and Rohit from close quarters, patted the Mumbai-mate for his "unwavering commitment."

"I've witnessed your evolution from a promising youngster to a World Cup-winning captain from close quarters. Your unwavering commitment and exceptional talent have brought immense pride to the nation. Leading to T20 World Cup victory is the perfect culmination of your stellar career. Well done, Rohit!," Tendulkar wrote on X.

Kohli took over the batting mantle from Tendulkar 11 years ago after the latter's retirement. Tendulkar hoped that Kohli will have more glorious moments in Tests and ODIs.

"You have been a true champion of this sport. You may have had a rough time earlier in the tournament, but last night you proved why you're truly one of the greats of the gentleman's game. Competing in six World Cups and clinching victory in the last one is an experience I know well. I hope to see you continue winning matches for India in the longer formats of the game," he added.

India's Virat Kohli, left, and captain Rohit Sharma pose with the winners trophy after defeating South Africa in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
'No better time': Rohit and Kohli retire from T20 internationals after India's World Cup triumph

Veteran off-spinner R Ashwin termed Kohli a myth and recollected some of the best T20I innings by the star batter.

“Virat Kohli has played his last T20 game, and it has been a stellar career. The knocks I wanted to remember (of Kohli) are the ones against Australia in the quarterfinals (of the 2016 T20 WC) and against SA in the 2014 T20 WC semifinals. The man is actually a myth. Why I am not paying a big tribute to him because he has a long career ahead in two other formats. He has been playing well,” said Ashwin on his YouTube channel.

Former India pacer-turned-commentator Atul Wassan said Kohli and Rohit retired at the best possible time so that the next line of cricketers can take over.

“It was bound to happen. The team needs to focus on preparing for the next World Cup. They may be great players, but if they linger, it won't benefit the team. We need to pave the way for youngsters and groom them for the upcoming World Cup,” Wassan told PTI videos.

Wassan said the decision of Kohli and Rohit will only benefit the team in the long run.

“I knew he (Virat Kohli) was going to retire. Age is catching up. We'll see them playing Test cricket and ODIs. T20 requires specialists,” said Wassan.

“I believe it's time for India to move forward from here. Once we've won the cup, it's best to progress further,” he added.

BCCI joint secretary Devajit Saikia said the victory will take Indian cricket to further heights despite two of the biggest stars moving away from T20Is.

"Fantastic win. I am sure this win will not only give a big boost to the development of cricket in India but in other parts of the world as well,” he said

“Retirement is part and parcel of the game but this win has taken Indian cricket to a different level from today onwards,” Saikia told PTI videos.

India's Virat Kohli, left, and captain Rohit Sharma pose with the winners trophy after defeating South Africa in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
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