The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli has picked his New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson as the standout performer of the 2008 ICC Under-19 World Cup even though the tournament was dominated by the Indian team as it gave Virat the first taste of stardom.
Kohli’s India beat Williamson’s New Zealand in a close semi-final of that edition, which also featured Ravindra Jadeja, Trent Boult, and Tim Southee.
As per the media release by the ICC, Virat said, “I remember playing against Kane (Williamson). It is good to know that so many people from that batch, like Kane and Steve Smith, have played for their respective countries. The ICC U19 World Cup was a very important milestone in my career. It helped us get a good platform to build on and make our careers from thereon. It is very important to understand and respect the opportunity it provides to you.”
While Kohli was a star of the 2008 edition, the 2010 edition featured some of the future England superstars like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and current skipper Joe Root. In fact, Root recollected how Stokes had batted India out with a match-winning century.
The all-rounder amassed as many as 100 runs off 88 balls, including six sixes, to lift England to a total of 246 that they successfully defended and gave them a flawless group stage record in New Zealand.
Root said, “We didn’t get off to the best start in that India game but Ben played one of the best innings I’d ever seen for a player of that age. It was on the first world stage you can play on – he made a brilliant hundred and we ended up winning the game against the tournament favorites, which was fantastic and great to be a part of. To play alongside players like that, learn from them and watch them develop, to then go back and play against them in county cricket.”