New Zealand captain Kane Williamson says that he understands India captain Virat Kohli well, and talks about the relationship between the two cricket stalwarts. Kohli, too, has often talked highly of his Kiwi counterpart and their friendship off the field.
However, on Friday, both of them will be looking to get the better of each other in the historic World Test Championship (WTC) final at Southampton.
Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli first faced off each other as teenagers in a U-19 Test in New Zealand in 2007. A year later, the duo captained their respective countries in the 2008 U-19 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, where India defeated New Zealand in the semi-final and went on to win the title.
“We have a history of playing against each other, and I know him (Virat Kohli) really well, so it’s an exciting occasion for both teams,” Kane Williamson told the press on the eve of the Final.
“Me and Kane (Williamson) have become friends over the last few years but when you step across the line you want to get him out as soon as possible. The camaraderie is off the field. But on the field we are professionals,” Virat Kohli told reporters on Thursday.
India are a very good side, and we are aware of that: Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson also acknowledged that the New Zealanders are wary of the threat in the Indian team. He heaped praises on India pacers and spinners, while also talking about the strengths of his side, which has become the number 1 ICC Test team after defeating England in the Test series preceding the WTC final.
“There are a number of areas of competition, and we know how strong the Indian seam bowling attack is. The quality of spinners and the batting is also world-class. India are a very good side, and we are aware of that.
“For us, there are some similar strengths, and we turn up on the day, and that what happens when you come into the final. Both teams try and put their best foot forward and compete as long as they can. It’s very exciting to be involved in the first World Test Championship (WTC) final,” the Black Caps skipper concluded.
Meanwhile, India have announced their playing eleven for the WTC final. The Asian giants have gone with 5 bowling options, excluding Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, and Wriddhiman Saha from the 15-man squad announced earlier.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.