India vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli says it will be 'special' to renew Under-19 rivalry with Kane Williamson

Virat Kohli says that it will be a special feeling for both him and Kane Williamson to again be leading their teams against each other at a World Cup

Agence France-Presse, Jul 08, 2019 20:15:04 IST

Manchester: India captain Virat Kohli may have captured the wicket of  'special'  New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson when they were teenagers, but he has no plans for a repeat performance in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford.

Both the star batsmen first encountered each other in youth cricket, with Kohli an occasional medium-pacer — taking Williamson's wicket via stumping when they were both captaining their countries in a 2008 Under-19 World Cup semi-final in Kuala Lumpur.

India went on to win that match and beat South Africa in the final. "When we meet tomorrow, I'll actually remind Kane," Kohli, now aged 30, told reporters during his pre-match press conference on Monday when asked about that Under-19 clash.

India vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli says it will be special to renew Under-19 rivalry with Kane Williamson

File image of Virat Kohli. AP

"I'm sure he remembers. It's quite a nice thing to realise that 11 years after captaining our respective nations, we'll do so again in a senior World Cup"

"We've spoken about it before, a lot of players from that whole World Cup, from our batch, from their batch, from other teams as well, made it to their national teams and are still playing, which is a great thing to see."

Reminded that he had dismissed Williamson, Kohli said: "I got Kane's wicket? Did I? I don't know if that can happen again."

Williamson's memories of his dismissal were equally vague: "Oh dear. Tell me how? He (Kohli) used to be an all-rounder back in the day but he hasn't bowled as much recently." Kohli first became aware of Williamson's talent a year before the match in Malaysia.

"I remember 2007 when we went to New Zealand, playing an Under-19 Test match and he played a shot off one of our fast bowlers, who was quick, off the back foot. I remember standing in the slips and just telling the guys standing at slip 'I've never seen anyone play a shot like that."

"He was always the standout player and you could see even when we played New Zealand in New Zealand on their Under-19 tour and then, yes, the World Cup again, he was quite special for them."

Williamson agreed that it was a special feeling to be pitting his wits against Kohli on a far grander stage and their early meetings. "I guess that's kind of cool that a few years later we're here again, perhaps on a slightly different stage," he said.

Reflecting on his impressions of Kohli, Williamson added: "He was a formidable player. It's obviously been a pleasure to watch Virat play and evolve into the superstar that he is."

The importance of Williamson's contribution to New Zealand's run to the last four, which includes match-winning hundreds against both South Africa and the West Indies, is underlined by the fact that his 481 runs represent nearly 29 per cent of the Black Caps' total at this World Cup.

"We always knew he had the special ability to go all the way and now he's controlling the tempo for New Zealand every game that he plays and he's contributing so well," said Kohli.

"He's a lovely guy and we get along very well. He's always been the main guy for them along with Ross Taylor. Both have performed really consistently. From our team point of view, getting both of them early will be crucial because we know how strong together they can be in a partnership."


For all the latest news, opinions and analysis from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, click here

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2019 20:15:04 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 6939 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4056 254