England all-rounder Ben Stokes said it was nice to hear Virat Kohli’s message ahead of his one-day internationals swansong, highlighting the admiration he has for the former India captain.
Ben Stokes on Monday came up with a shock retirement announcement as the all-rounder said he would be playing his last ODI when England face South Africa on Tuesday in Durham. Stokes, 31, said the rigours of playing all 3 formats were “unsustainable” for him and he was not able to give his 100 percent to the team in the ODI format.
Virat Kohli took to social media to send a heartfelt message to Ben Stokes, responding to the retirement post on Instagram.
“You’re the most competitive bloke I’ve ever played against. Respect,” Kohli had written.
Speaking to the official broadcasters in the lead up to the first ODI between South Africa and England at Chester-le-Street, Stokes highlighted the impact Kohli’s energy and intensity has had on the game.
“He’s going to go down as one of the greatest ever in all formats. I’ve loved it every time I’ve played against him. The energy and commitment he gives I’ve always admired,” Ben Stokes said of Virat Kohli.
“When you play against guys like that, you understand what it means at the top level.
“It was nice to hear,” he added.
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Notably, Stokes was up against Kohli in the recently-concluded ODI series between England and India, which RohiT Sharma’s men won 2-1. It was during the said series that Stokes decided to give up the ODI format of the game, the all-rounder said on Tuesday.
“It was actually after the first one-day game [against India] where it was quite clear – one of the best bits of advice I got was ‘if there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt’,” Stokes said.
“As I said in my statement, this England shirt deserves 100 percent from whoever wears it and unfortunately I didn’t like the feeling of not being able to contribute in the way I wanted to – and the feeling of stopping someone else from being able to progress in this format.”
Stokes was the center of attraction on Tuesday as South Africa won the toss and opted to bat in the first of the 3-match ODI series. The all-rounder, who played a pivotal role in England’s 2019 World Cup triumph, will be looking to make one memorable contribution for the last time in the 50-over format of the game.
Notably, Stokes had taken over as the Test captain after Joe Root stepped down from the role earlier this year. The all-rounder led England to a 3-0 sweep of world champions New Zealand at home after which they defeated India in the rescheduled 5th Test.
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