WTC Final: 'They are inspirational leaders,' McCullum hails Kohli, Williamson ahead of Southampton clash
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has heaped praise on Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, saying the duo has led their respective sides brilliantly in the 2019-21 World Test Championship (WTC)
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has heaped praise on Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, saying the duo has led their respective sides brilliantly in the 2019-21 World Test Championship (WTC).
India and New Zealand lock horns in the maiden WTC final, starting June 18 in Southampton.
"Both Virat and Kane have led their sides brilliantly. Their own forms have been superb. To be able to qualify for the WTC final is a massive achievement. To reach the final of WTC, the results they needed for a long period. You have to force the situations in Test cricket to garner success in the longest format of the game. Both captains have pushed their teams to excel, and I believe they rightfully deserve the opportunity to play in the final," McCullum was quoted by Sports Today.
When asked in the same interview regarding the contrasting style of Kohli and Williamson's captaincy, McCullum said," They are inspirational leaders but lead their teams indifferently. One (Kohli) is out and out aggressive, while the other (Williamson) is a dominant leader but is not as expressive as his counterpart. They are true ambassadors of the game and are the must-watch talents of the present time.
Apart from being great leaders, they are two giants of the International game at his point of time. One of the amazing qualities they both have is to get the best out of those around them. It has helped them to achieve some special things for their countries."
Since New Zealand played two Tests in England recently, the BlackCaps will have a slight edge over India in the summit clash, according to the former captain.
"I think 60-40 in favour of New Zealand. It's going to be close. The match practice that New Zealand are going to have leading into the final could just title it in their way. I think it's going to be close," added McCullum.
The 39-year-old McCullum, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2016, went on to say that he expects the WTC final game to be a closely fought affair that would see the World No. 1 and 2 Test sides fight off for the coveted trophy. Not picking any favourites, McCullum wants the "best team" on the day to win the inaugural WTC final.
"Two of the best teams on the form have reached the final. Just as New Zealand respects India, as a fan, I will respect India, knowing how good they are and the fighting spirit they have. I think we are in for a ripping World Test Championship final. May the best team win and the best game," said McCullum.
Following the 1-0 series win over England, New Zealand replaced India as the World No. 1 Test side.