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India Signs Off with a Comfortable 9-wickets Win vs Namibia, End of Kohli-Shastri Era

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In their farewell match in Dubai, India registered an expected 9-wickets victory against Namibia ending their journey in the ICC T20 World Cup on a positive note. The match on Monday also marked coach Ravi Shastri’s departure as the head coach of the Indian team and Virat Kohli’s retirement from his role of T20I captain.

From the empty stands to the players’ body language, everything proved that the match was just a formality for the Indian players. However, spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja could not help but tease inexperienced Namibia batters with their loops and flights. Jadeja bagged 3 important wickets for only 16 runs in 4 overs while Ashwin finished with figures: 4-0-20-3.

Despite such superior bowling efforts, Namibia managed to put up a respectable score of 132 runs owing to some loose overs by the Indian bowlers towards the end of the innings.

Chasing a target of 133 runs, the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul laid the foundation of their victory with their half-centuries. Sharma scored his second half-century in the tournament and finished with 37-balls 56. The fifty made him the second Indian to cross 3,000 runs in T20I after Virat Kohli. On the other hand, KL Rahul also registered his 15th T20I fifty in the match and remained unbeaten with 54 off 36. Suryakumar Yadav (25 off 19) also played well after the dismissal of Sharma leading to the victory in 15.2 overs.

Ahead of his last match as T20 captain, he also remarked, “It’s been an honour for me, I was given the opportunity and I tried to do my best. But it’s also time for me to create some space and prioritise some things moving forward. Unfortunately, the shortest format of the game has to give way. I’ve been immensely proud of how the team has played and grateful for the opportunity to have led the Indian cricket team in the T20 format for so many years.”

Before the starting of the tournament, Kohli announced his decision to take retirement from the T20I captainship and, in the post-match press conference, he again touched the topic stressing the need of having a deload from the work pressure. “I know we haven’t gone far in this World Cup, but we have had some good results in T20s and enjoyed playing together. It’s a game of margins, T20 cricket,” he said.     

Head coach Ravi Shastri’s tenure in the team management also came to an end with this match and he will be replaced by veteran Rahul Dravid. “This is one of the great teams in the history of the game, absolutely no doubt in my mind. Unfortunately, we are out of this tournament, but that takes nothing away from a great side,” said Shastri after the match.

After their premature exit from the T20 World Cup, India will now focus on their upcoming home series against New Zealand under the coaching guidance of Rahul Dravid and his staff.

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