Bengaluru, July 8: Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson are known to be the two of the best batsmen of their eras. Of the batting quartet that is often compared in contemporary cricket, Kohli and Williamson form two of the arms besides Joe Root and Steve Smith.
However, on Tuesday, one of the two will make history as a captain who led his side to the final of a ICC Cricket World Cup - a moment that certainly will qualify as the best in their careers thus far.
India and New Zealand will take each other on in the first semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Old Trafford on Tuesday, July 9.
India finished at the top of the points table with seven wins and one loss while New Zealand lost their way a bit towards the end to finish fourth with five wins and four losses. Although this edition saw a round-robin format, yet India and New Zealand will be playing their first game since their league match at Trent Bridge on June 13 was washed out.
India will be playing their seventh World Cup semifinal, having won three of their previous six games. NZ, on the other hand, will be playing their eighth last-four tie and have won only one of the previous seven.
However, the Old Trafford clash will be a special one for a number of reasons. First, it will be the first time-ever that India will be facing New Zealand in a knock-out game at the World Cup. Secondly, this will be second time that Kohli and Williamson will lead each other's team against each other in a World Cup semi-final! Yes, you need to read on to believe it.
In 2008 Kohli and Williamson played for the respective countries in the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. Then Kohli was in charge of India while Williamson led the Kiwis. The two sides met in the semifinal played at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur on February 27. Williamson won the toss and elected to bat but his team couldn't manage more than 205 for eight in 50 overs. The Kiwi U-19 captain himself scored 37 off 80 balls and was dismissed by Kohli, who ended up with the bowling figures of two for 27, the best for his side that day.
It was Corey Anderson's 70 ff 67 balls that gave some impetus to the New Zealand innings.
After the break, as India started their chase, rain intervened and their target was revised to 191 in 43 overs. India lost a few wickets early but wicket-keeper-batsman Sreevats Goswami, who opened in the game, made 51 and Kohli chipped in with 43 at No.4 to guide India to a three-wicket win. The Boys in Blue lost some wickets once Kohli departed but yet had the last laugh by winning it in the penultimate over. Tim Southee, who is also playing in the current World Cup, took four for 29.
Other players from that match who are playing in this World Cup are Trent Boult and Ravindra Jadeja, the left-arm spinner who has a high possibility playing at Old Trafford.
Kohli was the man of the match in that U-19 WC semi-final and he went on to lead India to the title win by defeating South Africa by 12 runs via DL Method in the final.
Will history repeat itself 11 years later?