T20 World Cup: Kohli bows out with a win as India head home

By Sports Desk November 08, 2021

Virat Kohli's tenure as India captain in the shortest format came to an end with a nine-wicket victory over Namibia as his team bowed out of the T20 World Cup.

India's slim hopes of securing a semi-final place were dashed on Sunday when New Zealand beat Afghanistan, meaning Monday's match in Dubai, the final game of the Super 12s stage, was Kohli's last as T20 skipper.

Kohli, who turned 33 last week, is stepping down from leading India in T20Is, though he will stay on as ODI and Test captain. Coach Ravi Shastri is also leaving his role.

Having won the toss and elected to field first, Kohli decided not to come out ahead of Suryakumar Yadav after Rohit Sharma was caught behind on 56, with the opener having surpassed 3,000 runs in T20Is as India chased down a target of 133.

It was a decent effort from tournament debutants Namibia, who batted for their 20 allotted overs and lost eight wickets, with Stephan Baard (21) and David Wiese (26) the pick of their batsmen.

Ravindra Jadeja (3-16) led India's bowling attack – Ravichandran Ashwin (3-20) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-19) providing support – though Mohammed Shami (0-39) was unusually vulnerable.

KL Rahul (54) and Rohit swiftly set about knocking into Namibia's total, however, with the latter joining Kohli as just one of three players to reach 3,000 T20I runs when he moved onto 18.

Rohit's dismissal might have meant Kohli got in for a final flourish with the bat as skipper, but it was Suryakumar who instead came to the crease, scoring 25 off 19 balls before the excellent Rahul sealed victory with a wonderful shot down the ground.

 

Fifty and out for Kohli, a new era for India

"It's been an honour for me. I was given the opportunity and I've tried to do my best. It's time for me to try and create some space and prioritise things and move forward," said Kohli at the toss.

Monday's match was his 50th T20I as captain. India have won 30 of those and lost 16. The highest total India scored under his leadership was 240-3 against the West Indies in 2019, while ahead of the Namibia game, they had averaged 164 runs across 47 innings.

History for Rohit

It had been coming, but Rohit finally joined the exclusive 3,000-run club in T20Is. Across 108 innings, he has averaged 32.66, struck four centuries and 24 half-centuries.

Rohit has been mooted as Kohli's potential successor as captain. There cannot be too many better candidates.

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