Virat Kohli backs Kane Williamson, says he has 'done wonderfully well'

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s leadership skills came under the scanner following the side’s heavy defeat in the Boxing Day Test against Australia.

India captain Virat Kohli (left) and New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson pose for a photograph with the T20I series trophy at Eden Park.

India captain Virat Kohli (left) and New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson pose for a photograph with the T20I series trophy at Eden Park.   -  Twitter/@BCCI

Questions will certainly be asked of a struggling team, but the leadership can’t always be judged by results, said India skipper Virat Kohli, putting up a stout defence when asked regarding his under-fire New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson.

Williamson’s leadership skills came under the scanner following New Zealand’s crushing defeat in the Boxing Day Test against Australia as former skipper Brendon McCullum questioned some of his tactics. New Zealand was drubbed 0-3 in that series.

McCullum said Williamson has gradually lost his love for the role and can quit captaincy in at least the T20 format.

Williamson himself said he was willing to make space for a new leader if New Zealand Cricket (NZC) suggests the same.

“For me it’s always been about what’s best for the team. If those discussions are to eventuate and collectively there’s a thought that it (finding new captain) would be best for the team, then my stance is whatever is right and fits the group. I’m always open to whatever is going to move the team in those directions,” Williamson said.

However, Kohli who leads India in all three formats, said people are sometimes too quick to blame captains for a team’s failure.

“These kinds of things do come up every now and then, whenever you have a setback. I think it's a part of having that responsibility of captaining in all three formats.

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"One thing that I have done is I just focus on what I can do for the team and the vision that needs to be there to take the team forward,” said Kohli on the eve of the T20 series-opener.

“I don’t think leadership can always be determined by the results. It’s also about how you can get the team together and get the guys functioning under you as well, which I think Kane has done wonderfully well.

“He has the respect of his team-mates and he has their trust is what I can see, and he’s also a very, very smart cricketer. If a team outplays you, you have to accept it as a collective failure, and not a lack of leadership or captaincy, is what I think.”

Kohli said Williamson should not be forced into a decision and he should have the freedom to make a choice.

“People get onto that side of things too early and sometimes I think it is better to let the individual decide himself. If you have given him the responsibility, I am sure he will decide whether he is good enough for the job any more or not as well,” he said.

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