'I don't believe in it': Virat Kohli calls for best-of-three WTC finals, India captain 'not too bothered by this result'
- India captain Virat Kohli, under whom the team phenomenal Test cricket over the last two years to reach the first-ever WTC final, only to stumble at the last hurdle, has batted for a best of three finals going ahead to decide future World Test Championships.
India captain Virat Kohli, under whom the team phenomenal Test cricket over the last two years to reach the first-ever WTC final, only to stumble at the last hurdle, has batted for a best of three finals going ahead to decide future World Test Championships. Test cricket is a process, feels Kohli, who highlighted that the nuances of the format cannot be fully utilised through just one match, and especially when it's to determine the world champions of Test cricket.
"I am not in absolute agreement of deciding the best Test side in the world over the course of one game. 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," Kohli said after India's eight-wicket loss in Southampton to New Zealand.
The idea of a best-of-three series was touched upon by India coach Ravi Shastri and some former India cricketers as well, such as Yuvraj Singh and more. Even on the eve of the match, Kohli had stressed that the team is taking this game as another Test match and that the outcome won't carry too much significance given the quality Test cricket this team has shown over the last two years.
"It has to be a hard grind and something that definitely needs to be worked around in the future. "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," Kohli added.
"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."
In the previous two Test series, India have lost the opening match, only to stage a terrific turnaround in the remainder of the series. In Australia, they were steamrolled in Adelaide, before showing a spirited comeback to beat Australia on their soil for the second time in a row. Later, against England at home as well, India took the series 3-1 after losing the first Test comprehensively. As far as the WTC final is concerned, despite two days being washed out, the time was enough to determine a winner and Kohli feels this can only improve the chances of a best-of-three finals.
"Absolutely. 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," the India captain pointed out.
"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."