Kohli gives WTC thumbs-up, would prefer new format

India skipper unhappy with one-off Test

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final to become the ICC World Test Champions.
New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final to become the ICC World Test Champions.
Image: John Sibley

Southampton - The World Test Championship (WTC) is a great way to inject excitement into cricket's longest format but the final should be a best-of-three affair, said India captain Virat Kohli after his side lost to New Zealand in a rain-hit one off title decider.

New Zealand became Test cricket's first official world champions on Wednesday by beating Kohli's team by eight wickets in a low-scoring final in Southampton.

"It's great for the game," Kohli said of the inaugural WTC, which was launched in 2019 by the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) to create a pinnacle event for the format.

"Test cricket is probably the heartbeat of international cricket. I think this format will definitely help test cricket be exciting.

"It's a great move by ICC and puts that much on the line for every test match and it's going to get more and more exciting from here."

The only aspect of the WTC he did not like was that the winners were determined via a one-off final.

"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," said Kohli, who is waiting for his first ICC trophy as India captain.

"If it is a Test series, it has to be a test of character over three Tests. It can't just be pressure applied over two days of good cricket and then you suddenly are not a good Test side anymore."

India coach Ravi Shastri said earlier this month that a best-of-three final would make for more drama and give teams room to stage a comeback, but ICC acting CEO Geoff Allardice poured cold water on the idea due to the difficulty in fitting it into an already crowded calendar.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson also felt scheduling would be a challenge and preferred the one-match shootout.

"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," Williamson said. 

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