Two men lapsed into a hug with the victor and vanquished sharing a moment of warmth while the World Test Championship (WTC) drew to a close at sun-dappled Southampton after days of damp weather and staggered cricket.

Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli have come a long way since their under-19 days when they crossed paths with clean-shaven faces, adolescent verve and prodigal talent. Now with their beards, Williamson and Kohli are men of stature, batsmen lathered in greatness and leaders guiding New Zealand and India respectively. Williamson is classic ice to Kohli’s searing fire and they share a bridge built on mutual respect.

Finally, when on a June Wednesday, New Zealand won by eight wickets in a Test summit that went the full distance including the reserve sixth day at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl, Williamson and his veteran colleague Ross Taylor were at hand to get past 139. It was…

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