India skipper Virat Kohli has said that he is not in favour of deciding the best Test team on the basis of a single match and added that the finals of the World Test Championship should be ‘best-of-three’ contest.
Kohli’s comments came as India stumbled to an eight-wicket loss against New Zealand in the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) on Wednesday here at the AgeasBowl.
“Well, look, firstly, I’m not in absolute agreement of deciding the best Test side in the world over the course of one game, to be very honest. If it is a Test series, it has to be a test of character over three Tests, which team has the ability to come back into the series or totally blow away the other team. It can’t just be a pressure applied over two days of good cricket and then you suddenly are not a good Test side anymore. I don’t believe in that,” said Kohli while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
“I think it has to be a hard grind and something that definitely needs to be worked on in the future to really — at the end of three matches, there’s effort, there’s ups and downs, there’s situations changing throughout the course of the series, a chance to rectify the things that you’ve done wrong in the first game and then really see who’s the better side over the course of a three-match series or something will be a good measure of how things really are, so we are not too bothered by this result because we understand, as I said, as a Test side what we’ve done over the last three, four years, not just over the last 18 months but over the last three, four years. So this is not a measure of who we are as a team and the ability and the potential we have had for so many years now,” he added.
Further talking about what would be the ideal WTC final, Kohli said: “Well, absolutely. I mean, if you saw the way the game went with whatever time we got on the field, as well, why wouldn’t you want to see two more Tests of the same teams battling it out and eventually being the winners of the World Test Championship. I think historically all the great series that you’ve seen in Test cricket, you remember them over a period of three matches or five matches perhaps, but two teams going against each other and those series become memorable.”
“I think this definitely has to be brought in. I’m not saying this because we’re not on the winning side, but just for Test cricket and for this saga to be absolutely memorable, I think it has to happen over a period of three games minimum so that you have a series to remember because there are going to be ups and downs through and through with two quality sides going at each other knowing that there’s so much on the line,” he added.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor played unbeaten knocks off 52 and 47 respectively as New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the inaugural edition of the WTC.
A complete effort on the Reserve Day saw New Zealand edging India in a final which had its ebbs and flows in the first innings. The Kiwis made full use of the slender 32-run lead and the Williamson-led side bundled out India cheaply in the second innings to get a target of just 139. The batsmen did not relent and in the end, the side walked away with a comfortable victory.
“Yeah, look, very consistent. Again, they’re a very effective side. We’ve seen that over the years. They’re a very structured side and they like to play their cricket in certain manner. As I said, you need to find ways to disrupt that. If you don’t put their bowlers under pressure then they have the fitness and the consistency to bowl long spells and keep bowling all day in the same areas and trouble you, and the more momentum you give them, then invariably they get the breakthroughs they want,” said Kohli.
“As I said, the idea from here on will be to try to score runs and not worry about getting out in testing conditions. That’s the only way you can score and put the opposition under pressure, otherwise you’re just literally standing there hoping that you don’t get out and eventually you will because you’re not being optimistic enough, and I think you have to take more risks and calculated risks and be confident about taking those risks against a quality bowling attack like New Zealand,” he added.