Remembering the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli, the top run-getter in Test cricket in 2019, said that New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was always one player who “always stood out” for the Kiwi team in that tournament.
The Under-19 Indian squad, led by Kohli, had won that tournament. According to the Indian captain, Kane Williamson’s batting technique was unique when compared to his contemporaries.
Virat Kohli on Kane Williamson
In a media release of the ICC, Virat Kohli was quoted as saying, “I remember playing against Kane (Williamson). He was someone who always stood out in the team, his batting ability was very different from the other players who were around.”
India and New Zealand faced each other in that tournament’s semi-final, which was said to have been a close affair. India won a rain-marred match with three wickets and an over and three balls to spare. The match also saw Kohli and Williamson keenly competing against each other. Williamson’s wicket was claimed by Kohli when the former scored a fighting 37 off 80 balls.
Williamson repaid Kohli by taking a fine catch to dismiss him. Other top players, who featured in that match, are today’s top cricketers, such as Trent Boult, Ravindra Jadeja, and Tim Southee.
Kohli added, “It is good to know that so many people from that batch, like Kane and Steve Smith, have played for their respective countries.”
That tournament, which saw Kohli score 235 runs at an average of 47, was a major turnaround point in his career, according to the star batman himself, as it gave cricketers a platform on which they built their careers.
Speaking in the lead up to the 2020 U-19 World Cup, the Indian captain said, “It helped us get a good platform to build on and make our careers from thereon, so it holds a very important place in my mind and heart. It is very important to understand and respect the opportunity it provides to you.”