New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has applauded star India batter Virat Kohli as the best player in recent time. While speaking at the press conference after New Zealand lost to India by 70 runs in the World Cup 2023 semi-final, Williamson praised Kohli for his stunning batting in the tournament.
However, Kohli smashed his 50th ODI century, surpassing the tally of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar in ODI cricket. Kohli hit 117 in 113 balls and helped India post a sensational 397/4 in the semi-final of the tournament. Speaking about the Kohli, Williamson said that it was a special feat to score 50 ODI tons and it was difficult to describe in words what he had achieved so far as well. He again said that Kohli is the best and somehow he is getting better.
“I mean that’s something quite special, I think if you play 50 games, some people would call that a great career to get 50 hundreds. Trying to find the words to describe it really and not just that, actually the way he goes about it, it’s actually about winning games for his team and he’s getting close and there’s a lot of attention and that comes with a lot of his success, but actually it was always about pushing his team forward and so yeah, I mean he’s the best isn’t he?” Kane Williamson said at the press conference after their defeat against India.
“And he seems to be getting better, which is a worry for opposition all around the world, but you admire it. It’s incredible really. Although tough to be on the other side of it today, I think in time to come, well it probably won’t take too long, they were outstanding, you actually just admire his greatness and yeah, he’s just getting better that guy,” Williamson further added.
However, New Zealand had a good campaign, despite their issues with injury. Asked about the aging players and their legacy in the Kiwi side, Williamson said that it was not the end just yet, hinting that the core group will be there for 2024 T20 World Cup, or even for the Champions Trophy as well which is scheduled to be played by Pakistan in 2025. Notably, under Williamson, New Zealand have reached the knockout stages of all the white-ball ICC tournaments as well.
Speaking at the press-conference, Williamson said, “I think it’s been, I suppose an ongoing effort, as a side to keep trying to get better and push the boundaries of where we can get to as a team. All those people that you’ve mentioned (Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Tom Latham) are massive parts of that. They’re all different in how they operate but they’re all leaders in their own right and share a real passion for this team.”
“We’re all grateful to have those players and you can only hope that as we experience from some of our leaders as young guys that we can continue to bring players through, not just in the quality that they bring, because we’ve seen that in spades throughout the last seven weeks, but also in how they’re approaching their cricket in order to try and move this team forward and I think we’ve seen that too – so some good signs certainly in this last period of time,” Kane Williamson concluded.