- Oct 4, 2023
- Oct 25, 2022
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes have shared a bitter-sweet rivalry over the years. There have been instances where the duo have made headlines for their rivalry but have always had sheer respect for each other’s work and accomplishments.
When Stokes announced his retirement from the ODI format, the ace-Indian batter posted a morale-boosting message for the southpaw. Kohli posted, ‘You’re the most competitive bloke I’ve ever played against. Respect’
Stokes has also been vocal about his bond with Kohli. Speaking ahead of the release of his documentary ‘Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes’, the 31-year-old acknowledged how despite having run-ins, heated exchanges, and verbal volleys off the field, there always has been mutual respect and admiration for each other. He even went on to equate his professional relationship with Virat with the Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios.
“Look, sport produces amazing contests not only between teams but you also have those battles and contests between individuals. But at the end of the day, there is always respect between oppositions, between individuals, and it’s just in our sports. Just an example – you look at Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios. They have obviously had a huge rivalry but still, at the end of the day, there is always that respect there between the two professional athletes. That’s the same for us and through sports. You are always going to have a battle and trying your hardest to win a game. But when it comes to the end of it, there is always that respect and that’s what great sport is. One sportsman respects the other,” said Stokes.
Stokes has recently been appointed England’s Test captain and has been tasked with the responsibility of piloting his team to a new era. Although the England all-rounder was the hero of England’s maiden 50-over World Cup win in 2019, he has decided to hang his boots in the ODI format. The explosive all-rounder has chosen to focus on Tests and T20 after deeming playing all three formats ‘unsustainable’ for him.
The star batter has ended his ODI career where he represented his country on 105 occasions accumulating 2924 runs at an average of 38.99. He also has 74 wickets to his name in the 50-over format.