ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS When two players of supreme ability and conflicting characters face off in any game, it’s bound to be eventful. The first World Cup semifinal sets up the stage for one of the most intense and eventful games of the tournament, as teams fight it out for the greatest glory in the cricketing world. Add into the mix two of the most brilliant players in the game now―the calm, cool-headed Kane Williamson and the ever so hot-headed, intense Virat Kohli. The game will surely turn out to be one of the best encounters between the two great batsmen, and more so as a test of their leadership skills; of who will go the extra mile to secure a place in the final.
The duo faced off for the first time in an almost similar setting in the semifinals of the Under-19 World Cup in 2008. The game saw two upcoming talents fighting it out for glory with Kohli scoring a 53-ball 43 to the 80-ball 37 scored by Williamson. Incidentally, Virat was the one who scrapped the wicket of Williamson and had a neat bowling figure of two wickets from seven overs, giving away just 27 runs. Kohli came out victorious then with the game being decided on the D/L method as India won by three wickets with nine balls remaining. Captained by Kohli, the Indian team went on to win the Under-19 World Cup that year by defeating South Africa. Kohli was inducted into the main team soon after. After their induction into their respective national teams, the two faced off a few times both on the international stage and in the IPL. But the real test comes for them now, in the knockout stage of the World Cup as even a minor mistake can turn out to be deadly.
India comes into the semis in great form having won seven games in the group stage and losing just one (the group stage match against New Zealand was washed out). New Zealand is not in great vein of form, having won five games and losing out on the last three games in the group stage. Banking on the impressive batting and bowling performances of the team, India can hope for a slight advantage in the final in terms of form. However, both captains will be well prepared to give it their best, rise up to the challenge of the game and the personal battle, and will surely give everything to come out on top