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Watch: Virat Kohli, the bowler, trumps Kane Williamson in battle of teenagers from 2008 U19 World Cup

Kohli Williamson 2008
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson famously came into the limelight with the 2008 U19 World Cup – what’s possibly less remembered is a rare bowler versus batter contest between them, with Kohli’s gentle medium-pace getting the better of Williamson in the semi-final.

Over the years, Virat Kohli’s bowling contributions have reduced significantly, even as he’s grown in stature as a batter. In the early part of his career, though, his part-time bowling would more surface more often, characterised by an awkward jump and stiff release.

In the 2008 U19 World Cup, Kohli took four wickets in six matches, two of which came against New Zealand in the semi-final.

Bringing himself on as the sixth bowler in the 20th over, with New Zealand’s score on 57-2, skipper Kohli struck in his fourth over with Williamson’s dismissal. Bowling from wide of the crease, he angled the ball into the Kiwi skipper, who took a couple of steps in an attempt to flick the ball away. The ball skidded past his front leg to wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami, who did well to shuffle across and gather the ball, quickly whip off the bails. The ball was called a wide, but Kohli got his wicket after the third umpire confirmed that Williamson was out of his crease.

One over later, he was in action again, this time to send back Fraser Colson with a length ball that skidded in and took his off-stump along. The seven vital overs helped restrict New Zealand to 205-8, with Kohli then playing a crucial 43 at No.4 to help India overhaul the target.

Years later, the two have gone on to become leading batters and captains in world cricket, meeting each other in the 2019 50-over World Cup semi-final, and then again for the World Test Championship finale last year.

In 2011, Kohli dismissed Kevin Pietersen in similar fashion, earning his first T20I wicket off a wide.

The 2022 U19 World Cup kicks off in the Caribbean this month. Here’s the full schedule for the tournament, as well as the squads list.

Watch the Kohli delivery to dismiss Williamson here:

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