‘Was great to meet him at young age’: Kane Williamson on friendship with Virat Kohli
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson opened up on the camaraderie and friendship he shares with India captain Virat Kohli. Both Kohli and Williamson had met for the first time in the 2008 ICC U-19 World Cup tournament in Malaysia. Kohli, who was leading his troops in the tournament, had defeated Williamson-led New Zealand in the semifinal to advance to the final in the tournament. India U-19 team won the trophy after a thrilling win over South Africa in the final.
Speaking in a recent episode of Star Sports’ Cricket Connected show, Williamson said he is fortunate to have played cricket alongside Kohli. “Yes, we are fortunate to play against each other. It has been great to meet at a young age and follow Kohli’s progress and his journey,” the batsman said. “It’s been interesting, we’ve had to play against each other for a long period of time,” he added.
“But actually, probably over the last few years we just shared our views on the game, some honest thoughts and found some common grounds despite, perhaps, playing the game little bit differently in terms of physically and may be our on-field characters I suppose,” he further revealed.
Following Black Caps’ whitewash in the three-match Test series in Australia, Kohli stood bu Williamson and said: “I don’t think leadership can always be determined by the results. It’s also about how you can get the team together and get the guys functioning under you as well, which I think Kane has done wonderfully well.
“He has the respect of his teammates and he has the trust of his teammates, is what I can see, and he’s also a very, very smart cricketer.”
Kohli and Williamson were seen chatting away at the boundary during the 5th and final T20I match between India and New Zealand this year in February, visuals of which went viral during the match. India had already taken a 4-0 lead in the series by then and both the captains were rested for the dead rubber.
Before India’s tour to New Zealand, the Kiwis had suffered a Test series whitewash in Australia, and Kohli had defended Williamson in a press conference. “I don’t think leadership can always be determined by the results. It’s also about how you can get the team together and get the guys functioning under you as well, which I think Kane has done wonderfully well.
“He has the respect of his teammates and he has the trust of his teammates, is what I can see, and he’s also a very, very smart cricketer,” Kohli had said.
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- England decided to send Ali back after the 2nd Test and it backfired. England played three seamers on a turning pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium and they dearly missed Moeen’s services in the 3rd Test.
- “England got sucked into thinking they were playing a pink ball test in Adelaide not Ahmedabad,” he added.
- In due course, Ashwin also became the second-fastest bowler to scalp 400 wickets in Test cricket. He ended scalping 7 wickets in the pink-ball Test which India won comprehensively by 10 wickets.
- The Test match ended inside two days with India winning it with 10 wickets to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series. The result also knocked England out of the World Test Championship final race.