Wellington: Chalk and cheese they might be when it comes to their on-field personas but that has not come in the way of Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson forming a mutual admiration club.
The fierce Kohli and the mostly calm Williamson admire and respect each other as cricketers and more importantly as human beings.
"If we had to share no.1 spot, it would be New Zealand," skipper Kohli said during a dinner hosted by the Indian High Commissioner on Wednesday.
"Every team wants to beat us but I can tell you there would be no spite and that's why I could sit with Kane Williamson mid-game and have a conversation on life and not cricket," Kohli had said.
Williamson couldn't agree more about the conversation beyond the boundary during a recent T20 game from which both sat out.
"It was really interesting the other day to sit down and have a quiet chat on the outfield and share a lot of thoughts that we had and a lot of similar views on the game," the New Zealand skipper said.
While their approach might be different but Kohli's outlook on the game earns nothing but respect from one of his peers.
"We have slightly different approaches which was really refreshing but that is very inspiring from a guy that's leading the way in his tenacious and competitive attitude but his outlook on the game and what he does in and around it," Williamson said.
Kohli and Williamson first played against each other in an U-19 bilateral series and then in the 2008 Junior World Cup semi-final which the former won.
Eleven years later, both were part of another semi-final, this time in the main event where Williamson had the last laugh.
"We go quite a long way back really, to our under-19s, and played against each other in different competitions as well, the international arena and the IPL.
"I have always admired Virat in a lot of ways for setting benchmarks in the international game," Williamson said.
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