‘Just shut up and bat, you sound like a child’ – Kesrick Williams recalls the ‘notebook’ clash with Virat Kohli
In the match at Hyderabad, while Virat managed an unbeaten 94, Kesrick leaked runs at an economy over 16.
Updated - May 12, 2020 12:04 pm
Kesrick Williams, the West Indies fast bowler, had an almighty clash with Indian skipper Virat Kohli back in December 2019. It was back in 2017 when the speedster enacted his trademark ‘notebook’ celebration. However, in the first T20I in Hyderabad a few months ago, Kohli decided to give it back to the speedster. In that game, he hammered a 50-ball 94 with six fours and as many sixes.
It also helped India chase down the ginormous 208 with two balls to spare. Kohli had Williams’ celebration in mind and he reminded the bowler of the same when he came to bat. The 30-year-old didn’t realise what was about to unfold. When the 31-year-old Kohli tried to sledge him, Kesrick called him a ‘child’ and asked him to focus on his batting.
“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’,” Williams was quoted as saying in an interview with ICN360.
I got confused, because he got into my head: Kesrick Williams
In that match, Kesrick ended up leaking 60 runs from 3.4 overs at a dismal economy rate of 16.36. After taking the bowler to the cleaners, Virat imitated the ‘notebook’ celebration. Kesrick remembers how Virat was able to ruffle him and then clobbered him for runs around the park.
“Seriously! The episode is back from 2017. Every ball I bowled he said something but I simply responded with ‘mate, just shut up and bat. Really, you sound like a child’. But all he heard was ‘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 it’s alright, he got into my head and that’s why he beat me badly,” Williams added. He also mentioned how the incident fired him to perform well going forward, taking things as a challenge.
“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,”
Following the end of the game, Virat said that he gave Williams a high-five and also talked about respecting the opponent while playing hard. In the second T20I in Trivandrum, Williams again went on to dismiss Virat before the latter turned up with a 29-ball 70 at the Wankhede Stadium.