During the West Indies tour to India in December 2019, the clash between bowler Kesrick Williams and Virat Kohli was an engaging one. And now the West Indies bowler has spoken up about the running feud between the two and why he was disappointed with the Indian skipper’s celebration.
In the first T20I in Hyderabad, Kohli played a match-winning 94* from 50 deliveries, which included an animated celebration against the 30-year-old Windies bowler in which he did a ‘notebook celebration’. The Indian captain later said it was in response to Williams doing something similar in Jamaica in 2017.
“Williams had given me the notebook when he dismissed me in Jamaica, so I remembered it from there. We gave each other a high-five later. Play hard but respect the opponent,” Kohli said after the match.
Now during a live interaction with International Cricket Network 360 Williams revealed that the Indian skipper failed to accept the celebration and was left disappointed with the response he received.
“Virat Kohli is the first person I did that notebook celebration on in Jamaica. When I did the notebook celebration, I did it because I liked it and I did it for my fans,” he said.
Watch the video:
“But Kohli didn’t see it that way. After the game finished, I went to shake his hands, Kohli said good bowling but the celebration eeeh and he walked off,” Williams said.
“Last year in India, as soon as Mr Virat Kohli walked into bat, he walks straight at me and says, ‘the notebook celebration thing is not going to work here tonight. I’m going to make sure it won’t work’,” he said.
Williams in the video stated he was left stumped by Kohli’s remarks in Hyderabad as the incident had taken place two years ago. He also reveals, how Kohli got into his head with the constant chatter, which eventually helped the Indian skipper outperform. Kohli in that match had scored 32 runs off just 12 balls bowled by Williams, including three sixes and one four.
“Seriously! the episode is back from 2017. Every ball I bowled he said something but I simply responded, ‘mate, just bat and shut up. Really, you sound like a child.’,” Williams said.
“But all he really heard was just, ‘can you just bat and shut up’, the part about child and whatever he didn’t hear because I was walking back. That’s all I said but he kept talking,” he said.
The bowler admitted he had lost that battle.
“In the match he beat me really bad, I got confused, because he got into my head honestly and I kept thinking its alright, he got into my head and that’s why he beat me badly,” Williams added.
The Windies medium pacer said that he was surprised to see his photos all over the papers. He said he felt bad about it but it helped him improve his performance in the next match in Thiruvananthapuram.
“Next day, I’m all over India newspapers, I’m being honest I felt bad. But I like a challenge, I love a challenge and I love fame. So at that moment I told myself, Kohli you’re the best player in the world but you’ve just met the most determined player of the world. Who doesn’t give up, who doesn’t say no and who always grind to come up on top. That’s the player you’ve met. And when things get bad, that’s when I shine,” Williams said in the live chat.
Speaking more on the rivalry, Williams added that while the teams were in the plane for Thiruvananthapuram, Kohli still tried mock him by making gestures.
“In the match, Kohli is getting ready to bat, sitting in the boundary. I was fielding at fine-leg, every time I look at him, he’s shaking his head. In my mind, I kept thinking, I want you to bat, hurry up and come,” Williams said.
Narrating the proceedings between the duo in the second T20I, Williams said he was pumped and tried to focus on the game.
“What happened next was I tied him down for two overs and the only six that he could hit in the two overs was because I failed to execute the delivery (slow delivery wide off the stump).
“After hitting one six Kohli celebrated, while I thought one six and he reacted that way, I wish we had a full game,” Williams added.
In the second T20I, Kohli was dismissed for four runs off five deliveries. But Williams’ celebrations didn’t feature the notebook, and he instead celebrated by putting his finger to his lips and shushing the other fielders.
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