The debate about whether Kane Williamson is better than Virat Kohli as a batter is not going to peter out soon – not until at least the two geniuses call time on their glorious careers, another happenstance that seems a fair distance away.
Kohli and Williamson, for the better part of their careers, have shouldered the responsibility of getting the bulk of the runs for their sides, across formats, leaving experts, fans and opposition players watching on in amazement.
Both captains have usually been quite friendly towards each other, with images of them conversing on the boundary lines during and after matches taking the internet by storm when India were on tour to New Zealand before the coronavirus pandemic struck. While New Zealand had their opposition’s number that time round, the two teams will play for the inaugural World Test Championship title in Southampton in June.
And yet another chapter of the storied rivalry between Williamson and Kohli is set to be written, this time on neutral ground. At Southampton, when fire meets ice, expect Kohli and Williamson, to turn on the style in the hunt for silverware.
World Test Championship
The two skippers have had good campaigns in the WTC, both scoring in excess of 800 runs, however Kohli has played 5 games more than Williamson during the campaign.
For the Indian captain, a major chunk of the WTC has seen talk about when he will get his next century, having not scored one since 2019, when he hammered 136 in a winning effort against Bangladesh in Kolkata. While the three-figure mark has eluded Kohli in recent times, the Indian captain has not been out of form, scoring 5 half centuries, of which three have come in 5 Tests.
In the meantime, Williamson has three centuries and a half century for his side, including a double century against Pakistan recently (238) after a 251 against West Indies.
While Kohli himself has 7 double centuries of his own in Test cricket and is one of the pillars of for his side, Kiwi counterpart, currently ranked number 1, over the years has established himself in a similar vein.
At the final, the experience and ability of both batters will be extremely crucial for their sides as both sides will be in tricky conditions in England.
In English Conditions
The two master batters have been playing Test cricket for over a decade, scoring a bagful of runs at almost every venue and in every series. Neither, however, has played Test cricket at a neutral venue.
In England, Kohli’s early struggles against the moving ball were well documented as a certain James Anderson caused him to have some of his darkest days early in his red-ball career. The Indian captain, though, as is expected of him, went back to the drawing board to sort things out – and thankfully for Indian cricket, those hard yards paid rich dividends.
Williamson on the other hand has not played as much Test cricket in England, but will have the nightmares of the 2019 ODI World Cup final to match up to Kohli’s experience from 2014.
In 10 games, Kohli has managed 727 runs in England with two centuries and three fifties to his name, helping improve the dismal figures from his first tour.
On the other hand, Williamson has played only 4 games, scoring 247 runs with one century and half century to boast off.
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