Virat Kohli announced his retirement from Twenty20 internationals on a high after winning the title in Barbados on Saturday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Virat Kohli announces his retirement from Twenty20 after winning the player of the match award for his patient 76 in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup against South Africa at Barbados on Saturday.

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“This is exactly what we wanted to achieve. This is an amazing game I was telling Rohit today when we went out to bat I was like, one day you feel like you can’t get around. And then you come out and then things happen. God is great. I bow my head in gratitude. I’m just really grateful I was able to get the job done for the team on the day that it mattered the most. It was a different colour the saw today.

"It’s just the occasion that brought the best in me, it was now or never kind of a situation I knew. This is my last game at the last world cup that I was going to play," said the 35-year-old after claiming the player of the match award for his 76 that gave the world No 1 team a winning total. "This was going to be my last Twenty20 World Cup playing for India."

Ending a long title drought

When he was asked is it time for the team to carry him on their shoulders, Kohli responded: "Rohit has played nine T20 World Cups, this is my sixth. He deserves it. I wasn't confident in the last few games, but grateful and humble right now, and I bow my head. It's been difficult, and the emotions of the game. it's difficult to hold things back. The emotions will come later."

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement when India won their previous World Cup, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Mumbai in 2011. After carrying Tendulkar on his shoulders during the victory lap at the Wankhede Stadium, Kohli said: "Tendulkar has carried the nation on his shoulders for so many years and it is only just to carry him his shoulders."

Since then, Kohli has carried the weight of the nation's expectations and scored runs across all formats. But still, the Men in Blue fell short and were not able to add another World Cup title in the last 13 years. But under Rohit Sharma, India ended the long drought and clinched their second Twenty20 World Cup title after defeating South Africa by seven runs in a thrilling final that swung from one end to the other in a matter of overs.

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Kohli's patient 76 helped India to a winning target against South Africa in the final. Image Credit: AFP

Kohli has been under immense pressure after just scoring 75 runs in his last seven innings in this World Cup. But the team management, led by coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma, was confident that the talisman will come big in the final.

38th half-century for Kohli

The 35-year-old did not disappoint his captain and the fans by scoring a patient 76 to give India a winning total on a pitch that was not easy to score runs. Kohli's 38th career half-century and first in this World Cup came at the crucial juncture and the priceless runs. The significant difference in this innings was his patience. Kohli’s 76 might have come at a strike rate of under 129, but those were priceless runs under pressure.

After coping all the criticism in the last one month, Kohli typically let his bat do the talking to silence his critics and bowed on a high, bringing a 14-year career to an end.

"It’s time for the next generation to take over," Kohli said as he signed off from Twenty20 internationals.