Kohli tells Black Caps to back 'perfect' captain Williamson

By Sports Desk February 02, 2020

Virat Kohli urged New Zealand to keep Kane Williamson as captain after India swept their T20 international series on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma's 60 and Jasprit Bumrah's brilliant bowling condemned the Black Caps to a seven-run loss at Bay Oval and a sobering 5-0 series defeat, which included two Super Over failures and a string of batting collapses.

New Zealand have now lost eight successive games across all formats, inviting more questions for Williamson after he said he was "open" to a change in leadership following the underwhelming Test tour of Australia.

The 29-year-old, still resting his injured shoulder, was seen speaking with Kohli along the Bay Oval boundary as both batsmen skipped the dead rubber.

The discussion seemed to have a profound effect on the India star, who gave his counterpart a resounding vote of confidence.

"We get along well, we've known each other for a while," Kohli told Sky Sport NZ.

"It's amazing to know that in different parts of the world you're thinking the same things, you're talking the same language and you're headed in the right direction.

"Although the scoreline looks very different for New Zealand, I truly believe New Zealand cricket is in the best hands with Kane and he is the right guy to lead this team and lay out that vision for them, which he has in the past as well.

"Results can't always determine your leadership, but he is the right man and I truly believe that, because I spoke to him today and the way he thinks about life and the game - he's just the perfect, perfect man to lead the side.

"I wish them all the luck and all the power to come back stronger. They're a side everyone loves to watch and play against as well. We just had a very nice conversation and [it's] something that I'll remember."

Tim Southee, New Zealand skipper in Williamson's absence, felt the 5-0 series hammering was unfair on the Black Caps.

"I don't think it's a massive gap," Southee said. "I know the series scoreline suggests that, but I think with the games being reasonably close it's just about doing those small things a little bit better."

The teams have two days to rest before meeting in the first of three ODIs at Seddon Park on Wednesday.

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