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Virat Kohli calls for three-match series to decide future World Test Championships

Ahead of the final, Kohli had downplayed the significance of a one-off contest saying that one Test cannot decide which is the "best" side in the format. Even head coach Ravi Shastri had called for a three-Test series ahead of the final. 

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: June 24, 2021 7:37 IST
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson
Image Source : GETTY

Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson

Indian skipper Virat Kohli acknowledged New Zealand as the deserving winner of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, but reiterated Ravi Shastri's pre-match words pertaining to suggesting a three-match Test series to decide future champions of the WTC title. 

"I am not in absolute agreement of deciding the best Test side in the world over the course of one game," Kohli said after India's eight-wicket loss in Southampton on the reserve sixth day. 

"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 in the series, or totally blow away the other team. It can't just be pressure applied over two days of good cricket and then you suddenly you are not a good Test side anymore. I don't believe in it."

Ahead of the final, Kohli had downplayed the significance of a one-off contest saying that one Test cannot decide which is the "best" side in the format. Even head coach Ravi Shastri had called for a three-Test series ahead of the final. 

"It has to be a hard grind and something that definitely needs to be worked around in the future," he said. "At the end of three matches, where there's effort, there's ups and downs, there's situations changing during the course of the series, a chance to rectify the things you have done in the first game, and then really see who is 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 a Test side what we have done over the last 3-4 years, not just over the last 18 months. So this is not a measure of who we are as a team [with] the ability and the potential we have had for so many years now."

WTC final lost two days to rain before setting up an intriguing sixth day where Kyle Jamieson wreaked havoc in the morning dismissing Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara before Tim Southee picked four others. Rishabh Pant's counter-attacking 41 however helped India set a target of 139. Ravichandran Ashwin removed both the openers before Tea, but a patient partnership from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor saw the Blackcaps reach the target. 

If you saw the way the game went, with whatever time we got on the field, why wouldn't you want to see two more Tests of the same teams battling it out and, eventually, being the worthy winners of the World Test Championship?

"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, with two teams going against each other and those series become memorable.

"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, it has to happen over a period of three games minimum, so that you have a series to remember.

"There are going to be ups and downs throughout, with two quality sides going at each other, knowing that there's so much on the line."

The New Zealand captain, who was part of the squad that lost the 2015 and 2019 World Cup final, however feels that a one-off game offers the element of unpredictability with makes it exciting. 

"I suppose the exciting part to finals is that anything can happen," Williamson said. "We know how fickle cricket is and we've seen it in other competitions, in other World Cups and in all other bits and pieces.

"The one-off factor does bring a unique dynamic, which does make it exciting and all these sorts of things, and on any given day anything can happen. We've been on all different sides of that statement."

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