WTC Final: Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson share a lot of mutual respect and admiration, says VVS Laxman
Former India batsman VVS Laxman said he doesn’t see any competition or rivalry between Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson and expects the two men to lead from the front in the World Test Championship final, starting June 18 in Southampton.
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will be eyeing to win their first ICC trophy as captains as the two teams booked a place in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship.
Despite being two of the most celebrated cricketers going around, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson share a fine camaraderie. The two have often spoken highly about one another and the bonding was evident during India’s tour of New Zealand last year where they shared multiple conversations along the boundary ropes.
Laxman said both Kohli and Williamson take pride in their game and highlighted that both captains played a crucial role when their sides were going through a period of transition.
“Well, I don’t think that there is a competition between Kane and Virat. Rather, there is a lot of mutual respect and admiration. Both of them are true role models, who have become an inspiration for the younger generation – not only in their country, but all over the world,” Laxman told Star Sports.
“The way they have led their respective sides, the way they have optimised their potential and talent (is incredible). They have been instrumental in taking their team forward. Kane was instrumental in the smooth transition of the New Zealand team after Brendon McCullum and senior players of that side retired. It was similar for Virat.
“Both of them take a lot of pride in playing the game of cricket. It does not matter if they are playing for their country or in the IPL or club cricket, the way they prepare for each and every match is incredible,” he added.
Laxman also said India are at a disadvantageous position due to lack of match practice but that he is confident they will be able to overcome the challenges, much like they did in the Australia tour earlier this year. India bounced back from the lows of Adelaide wherein they were bundled out for 36 and overcame multiple injury concerns before registering a historic victory at the Gabba and seal the series 2-1.
India arrived in Southampton on June 3 and will likely have an intra-squad practice match before the WTC final. On the other hand, New Zealand are playing a 2-match Test series against England before the big final.
“Well, theoretically, that’s an advantage for New Zealand, because whenever you play any Test match in overseas conditions, you at least would like to play one – if not two matches before the main match. There’s no doubt it helps you to get acclimatised to the conditions. That’s always been the norm for so many years,” Laxman added.
“Especially for the batsmen, it will take time to get used to the new conditions. So, theoretically, New Zealand has the advantage.
“But India has not taken a backward step, irrespective of whatever challenges they have faced. The series win in Australia was a testament to their character and their positive mindset.
“So, even though theoretically, New Zealand – who is already accustomed to the English conditions – may have the advantage, I am sure the Indian team will maybe have intense training sessions before the final,” he added.
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