When the Kiwis locked horns with the Indians on their home turf recently, the spotlight once again shifted on the skippers of the two sides - Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli respectively. While everyone expected both of them to produce magnificent performances, it was only the Indian skipper who was able to live up to expectations.
Williamson’s form meant that the Kiwis lacked a stable No.3 batsman throughout the entire tour, whereas India had exactly that in their skipper Kohli. It was only in the decider at Nagpur that the Kiwi skipper played an innings of some substance. His innings of 64 runs off 84 deliveries did keep them in the chase for a while but ultimately the amount of deliveries he consumed was always going to hurt in a 337 run chase. And his frailty got highlighted once again when he failed to make a meaningful contribution in the rain curtailed 8-Over T20I at Thiruvananthapuram. A knock of 8 runs off 10 deliveries is definitely not what people want in an 8 over game and Williamson lacked intent there as well.
Williamson’s poor form meant that the Kiwis lacked a stable No.3 batsman throughout the entire tour.
Kohli, on the contrary, has been instrumental in India’s success against the Kiwis this tour. He starred in both the Indian victories in the ODI series with a couple of centuries. And when it came to T20Is, he contributed heavily once again with returns of 26* (11), 65 (42) and 13(6) in the rain-curtailed 8-over per side T20I. It seems like he never needs time to settle down and can play in any gear from the word go.
Virat had a great series with bat against Kiwis
A comparison of the strike rates of Kohli and Williamson in different conditions will reveal that the latter struggles to score on pitches that are generally slow and have something for the bowlers. His strike rates of 68.53, 70.86 and 72.23 while playing in Sri Lanka, West Indies and India support the fact.
Kohli, on the other hand, scores runs pretty much at the same rate irrespective of the conditions. Hence, it gives an idea about his versatility as a batsman. It also shows his ability to adapt to conditions quickly.
Only a strike rate of 77.61 in South African conditions might appear to be low as compared to that in other countries.
Williamson's low ODI averages of 10.16, 32.60 and 33.16 in Sri Lanka, West Indies and India respectively also suggest that he doesn't score big in these conditions to add to his drawback of low strike rate. However, the least Kohli averages while playing in a particular condition is 45.46 and that is in West Indies conditions. That reveals the difference in adapting capabilities of the two players when it comes to limited overs cricket.
Moreover, the team always looks up to their captain as a source of motivation and inspiration when all the chips are down. Kohli has been the epitome of motivation, consistency, inspiration and leadership in his stint as a captain so far. However, Williamson failed to turn up at crucial situations and that is exactly what has been the main difference between him and Kohli.