During the West Indies tour of India in Dec 2019, the dual of Kesrick Williams and Virat Kohli was one of the all-time highlights of 2019. In the 3-match T20 series played between the two teams, the world witnessed rise of one of the greatest rivalries in World Cricket.
In the first T20 International between India and West Indies, Virat Kohli played an innings, that was full of drama, struggle, anger, celebration, emotions everything. After early struggles of Virat Kohli, a collision with Keswick Williams in the middle of the pitch changed course of the match.
Furious with the incident, Virat Kohli exploded in Williams’s next over – the 16th over – as Virat Kohli fuelled with anger hit Williams for a power packed straight boundary before whipping a Yorker length over wide long-on to bring out the notebook celebration.
Speaking on Instagram Live, 30-year-old Williams recalled the famous dual that set blaze the social media. “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 fan. “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 in an Instagram chat, reported Cricbuzz.
“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’. 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.’
“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.”
“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. Next day, I’m all over India newspapers, I’m being honest I felt bad.”
However, this was not the end, as in the second match, on a sluggish pitch, where shot making was not that easy, India were looking for a sound finish with Virat and Pant at the crease. Virat Kohli tried to go after Kesrick Williams to put some impetus into the innings. But this time Kesrick Williams outsmarted him as Virat Kohli ended up getting the leading edge towards short third man.
Came the occasion of notebook celebration for Williams, but instead, he asked his team mates to be quiet, putting his finger on his lips.
Remembering the challenge, Williams said, “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 in the world. Who doesn’t give up, who doesn’t say no and who [will] always grind to come up on top. That’s the player you’ve met. And when things get bad, that’s when I shine.
“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. 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. After hitting one six, Kohli celebrated while I thought one six and he reacted that way, I wish we had a full game.”
Eventually, Virat Kohli came on the top in final ODI as the Indian skipper scored an unbeaten 70 in the final T20I in Mumbai to guide India to a 2-1 series win.