During his team’s tour to India in December 2019, West Indies pacer Kesrick Williams grabbed the headlines because of his duel with batting legend Virat Kohli.
In the first T20I at Hyderabad, Virat slammed 50-ball 94* to help India chase down the target of 208 with 8 balls to spare.
Not only Kohli guided India home but he also pulled off a ‘notebook celebration’ after smashing Williams for a six during the innings. The Indian captain later said it was in response to the see-off he received from Williams in Jamaica in 2017.
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Recently, the West Indies bowler opened up about his rivalry with Kohli and also explained why he was disappointed with the Indian skipper’s celebration.
“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 during a live interaction with International Cricket Network 360.
“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.
“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 added.
During the conversation, Williams further said he was left stumped by Kohli’s remarks in Hyderabad as the incident had taken place two years ago.
“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.”
In particular, Kohli was severe on Williams in that match as he scored 32 runs off his 12 balls, including three sixes and one four.
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,” he asserted.
Williams said he was surprised to see his photos all over the newspapers next day.
“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.”
In the second T20I at Thiruvananthapuram, Kesrick Williams dismissed Kohli for 17-ball 19. But instead of his trademark notebook celebration, the Caribbean paceman rejoiced the prized scalp by putting his finger to his lips.
“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.
“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,” he concluded.