382Views

India and New Zealand will clash in the final of the World Test Championship at Southampton on June 18. India captain Virat Kohli will be up against New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson in another ICC knockout match. The two captains led their team in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, where New Zealand knocked out India from the tournament. 

But much water has flowed since. While New Zealand has made it to the WTC final on the back of some impressive home wins, India has to beat Australia Down Under and then England at home to qualify for the final.

Nevertheless, Kohli’s India and Williamson’s Kiwis are deserving of a place in the WTC final. But who is a better Test skipper between the two, both in WTC and overall captaincy records? Cricwizz takes a look.

Leading from the front

Here’s how the two players have done as captain in WTC and overall Test captaincy careers.

Virat Kohli Kane Williamson Test
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson - Photo courtesy: Twitter
 Tests as captain in WTCRunsAverage100s50sBest score
Virat Kohli1487743.85  25254*
Kane Williamson981758.3531251
       
 Tests as captain (overall)RunsAverage100s50sBest score
Virat Kohli60539258.62015254*
Kane Williamson36309260.621113251

Observations

1) Kohli has hit a lean patch of late, and not meeting his high standards. And hence, he averages in the early 40s in WTC. Kohli also missed a few games due to paternity leave. On the other hand, Williamson has been the steering wheel for the Kiwis in the WTC, averaging 58.35 in this Test championship.

2) However, Kohli and Williamson average around 60 in Tests overall. It means the two have been consistent throughout their Test captaincy tenure, and love to lead from the front.

Better as captain than as a non-captain player

Here's how Kohli and Williamson fare as captain compared to as just as a player.

Kohli: 

Virat Kohli Test
Virat Kohli - Photo courtesy: BCCI
 Tests as non-captainRunsAverage100s50sBest score
Virat Kohli31209841.13710169
 Tests as captainRunsAverage100s50sBest score
Virat Kohli60539258.62015254*

Williamson: 

Kane Williamson Test
Kane Williamson - Photo courtesy: BCCI
 Tests as non-captainRunsAverage100s50sBest score
Kane Williamson48403749.231319242*
 Tests as captainRunsAverage100s50sBest score
Kane Williamson36309260.621113251

Observations: 

1) It is without a doubt that the two players have raised their game when given the responsibility of leading their team. But Kohli's transformation has been immense, averaging 41.13 as a player to 58.6 as captain.

2) Kohli's transformation has helped India turn into world-beaters as bowlers have now runs to defend. Kohl's transformation has been directly proportional to India's success in Test cricket.

3) Williamson has just raised the bar as a  captain in an illustrious Test career.

Records as Test skipper

 Tests as captainWonLostDrawSuccess %age
Virat Kohli6036141060
Kane Williamson36218758.33

Observations:

1) Both Kohli and Williamson enjoy similar success as Test captain overall.

2) Kohli has lost 2 Tests at home. However, Williamson has lost just 1 Test at home so far.

3) Kohli has never lost a home Test series. But Williamson has lost one.

Five facts that make Kohli the better Test skipper

1) He has won the Test series in Australia, West Indies, Sri Lanka. He has also won Tests in South Africa, New Zealand, and England.

2) He leads from the front and plays the lone hand sometimes.

3) He is a bowler’s captain, giving his bowlers full liberty to implement their plans and reap the benefits.

4) He is fearless in team selections, makes brave decisions on the field, and never shies away from giving back to the opponents.

5) Kohli motivates his team to give their best, and the result is that India is the No 1 Test team for a few seasons now.

Williamson not far behind...

But Williamson is not far behind even if the results have been mostly at home. He single-handedly leads the team’s batting. His performance is crucial to the team’s success, and he does let his bat do all the talking most of the time. His consistency with the bat is praiseworthy. 

He has also been a great leader, leading from the front, inspiring his teammates from turning themselves as competitors to the No 2 Test team in the World Test Championship.

Verdict: 

While Kohli has been doing a great job since he took over the captaincy in 2014, Williamson is gradually helping his team climb the ladder of Test success. The WTC final will decide the eventual champions and the race for the best Test captain in the current era.