Friday , June 25 2021

WTC Final | Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson true role models for younger generation: VVS Laxman

Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli
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Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli

Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has spoken highly of skippers ‘role models’ Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, playing down comparisons between the two prolific players. 

Laxman, who was known for his elegant stroke-play, said that Kohli and Williamson have carved their own niche in world cricket and have been instrumental in taking their national teams forward.

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Kohli and Williamson will be eyeing their first ICC trophy when India and New Zealand cross swords in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final from 18th June at the Ageas Bowl. The summit clash will be a repeat of the 2019 World Cup semi-final where New Zealand had registered an 18-run win in a rain-marred encounter.

“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 optimized 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 further said.

Laxman also spoke about New Zealand getting more time to get used to English conditions. The Indian camp arrived in Southampton on Thursday while the Kiwi players are already involved in a two-Test series against the hosts. The Indian players will have to first serve a quarantine period before hitting the nets. 

“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 acclimatized to the conditions. That’s always been the norm for so many years,” said Laxman.

“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 said.

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