Virat Kohli added his voice to the chorus of calls posing for future World Test Championships to be multi-game affairs. The India captain echoed thoughts of his head coach Ravi Shastri and former skipper, Sachin Tendulkar after his side were defeated within the inaugural final of this format. it had been India’s second loss during a major tournament final under Kohli but he clarified that his opinion wasn’t supported the result but that a one-off game to make a decision the simplest team from a tournament played over a two-year phase wasn’t and should not give an authentic portrayal of the character of the 2 finalist teams or allow a narrative to create over the series.
“Well, look, firstly, I’m not in absolute agreement of deciding the simplest Test side within the world throughout 1 game, to be very honest,” Kohli said. “If it’s a Test series, it’s to be a test of character over three Tests, which team has the power to return to the series or blow away the opposite team. It can’t just be pressure applied over two days of excellent cricket then you suddenly aren’t an honest Test side anymore. I do not believe that.”
India finished the protracted league stage of the tournament as table toppers with 520 points across six series, five of which they won. Incidentally, two of their recent series wins, against Australia and England, were achieved after going a game down. Kohli reasoned that a series allowed narratives to ebb and flow, for teams to return or double down on their advantage to determine superiority.
“I just believe that it[final] should be done throughout three matches so that you as a side prepare accordingly and you’ve got an opportunity to, as I said, either drive home the advantage or test the opposite team out if you haven’t had an honest first game.
“I think it’s to be a tough grind and something that definitely must be worked on within the future to actually — at the top of three matches, there’s effort, there’s ups and downs, situations are changing throughout the series, an opportunity to rectify the items that you’ve got done wrong within the first game then really see who’s the higher side throughout a three-match series or something are going to be an honest measure of how things are, so we aren’t 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 often not a measure of who we are as a team and therefore, the ability and the potential we’ve had for therefore a few years now.”
Kohli referenced the standard of the rain-affected game in Southampton to questions on the appetite levels for a three-match final amidst other bilateral commitments. “I mean, if you saw the way the sport went with whatever time we got on the sector, as well, why wouldn’t you would like to ascertain two more Tests of an equivalent team battling it out and eventually being the winners of the planet Test Championship? I feel historically all the good series that you’ve got seen in Test cricket, you remember them throughout three matches or five matches perhaps, but two teams going against one another and people series become memorable.
“I think this has got to be brought in. I’m not saying this because we’re not on the winning side, but only for Test cricket, and for this saga to be memorable, I feel it’s to happen throughout three games minimum so that you’ve got a series to recollect because there are getting to be ups and downs through and thru with two quality sides going at one another knowing that there is such a lot on the road .”
Incidentally, the ICC, which has announced a single-match Test Championship final until the top of the 2024-31 cycle, has already acknowledged the merits of a series but said it wasn’t logistically feasible. “The reality of the international cricket schedule is we are just not getting to have [a situation where] blocking out a month approximately for all the teams within the tournament for the ultimate is realistic,” said ICC’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice. “That’s why the one-match final was decided upon. Why it’s quite exciting is because it brings something new. Here we are – we have got a one-off match game to make a decision the simplest team within the world over this two-year cycle.”
Winning captain Kane Williamson offered a contrarian view to Kohli and Shastri, talking up the ‘unique’ and ‘fickle’ dynamics of a one-off final. “I suppose the exciting part of finals is that anything can happen,” he said. “We skill fickle cricket is and we have seen it in other competitions, in other World Cups, and altogether other bits and pieces. The one-off factor does bring a singular dynamic, which does make it exciting and every one these kinds of things, and on any given day anything can happen. We’ve been on all different sides of that statement.
“I suppose there are arguments for each side, which I guess the challenge would be scheduling and that series amongst tons of cricket that’s already on, but little question the more cricket that you simply have perhaps within a series, the more you are doing determine and therefore the more it does reveal itself, but within the same way, it had been a very exciting match. the primary time that there is been this competition on and both teams were fully geared for the sport, and it had been an excellent game of cricket.”