Guest Column

Kohli, Williamson and their semi-final past

The video story on what happened when India met NZ in a ICC event semi-final in 2008

By G Mohan

I woke up this morning to read the news that India would be playing New Zealand in the semis and not England as was initially anticipated. South Africa created an upset by defeating the table topper Australia. 

The pessimists started posting messages, that India had never defeated the Kiwis in World Cup. Then this really heartwarming and positive tweet came up. India had defeated New Zealand in 2008 Under 19 World Cup in the Semis.

Coincidentally, India was led by Virat Kohli and New Zealand by Kane Williamson then also. (See video above)

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that on the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International , New Zealand always comes in the Top 3. In the 2018 list , New Zealand’s rank was No 2 . In the same list, India is a lowly 78th rank. So one would expect New Zealand to be an ideal meritocracy whereas India corrupt and chaotic.

If after 11 years, the captain of the Under 19 team of India and New Zealand are Captains of their respective country teams what does it tell us about our Indian cricket system

1. India’s Under 19 system worked well to identify Virat Kohli early and appoint him Captain

2. Indian cricket system is far more meritocratic and corruption free than rest of other Indian systems. (Because of which we are 78th). But despite all the selection controversies, we keep hearing that by and large in cricket, talent gets recognised in India.

3. New Zealand is a country with a population of 47 lakh, less than that of a city like Hyderabad. So managing a system in India is far more complex than NZ’s. If merit prevails in cricket, despite the size of India and also a rather corrupt overall society compared to New Zealand, it is commendable.

Grudgingly, I say kudos to BCCI.

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