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Virat Kohli (left) and Ravi Shastri: An enduring partnership ends in Indian cricket. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: All good things have to come to an end, so did the successful partnership of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. The head coach and the captain have plenty in common: fighting qualities, a never-say-die attitude and showing their intent without inhibition.

After winning in every cricket-playing country, the Twenty20 World Cup could have been the icing on the cake. That was not to be. Shastri had won the World Cup and the World Championship titles as a player, but he couldn’t repeat the feat as a coach.

Kohli has also achieved success as a player, but a major crown eluded him. That is the only blot on a perfect career. After winning the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai, Kohli paid huge tributes to Sachin Tendulkar, saying: “He [Tendulkar] has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It was time we carried him.”

True to his words, he carried the burden of the nation for many years. But Kohli was unable to win a major trophy after assuming the role of a captain in January 2017. The Twenty20 World Cup 2021 was his last chance after announcing that this would be his final assignment as captain.

The Shastri-Kohli partnership has seen highs and lows in four years. In sport, a win is never guaranteed.

“It’s unfortunate we are out of the tournament, but it takes nothing away from being a great side,” Shastri said before the final game against Namibia.

It might be an end of an era, but it is also the start of a new one. Maybe, an even better one. Thank you, Ravi and Virat, for the wonderful memories.