India captain Virat Kohli said the World Test Championship should be decided in a best-of-three series after his team suffered an eight-wicket loss against New Zealand in the inaugural one-off final in Southampton on Wednesday.
India’s second-innings collapse on Day 6 set New Zealand a target of 139 in 53 overs. Kane Williamson (52 n.o.) and Ross Taylor (47 n.o.) then guided New Zealand to its first ICC title win since 2000.
Asked if nerves got the better of his men, Kohli said: “Firstly, I am not in absolute agreement of deciding the best Test side in the world with one game. If it is a Test series, it has to be a test of character over three matches to judge which team can come back into the series. It can’t just be the pressure applied over two days of good cricket that judges you to not be a good side anymore.”
“It is something that needs to be worked around in the future (by the ICC). Getting an opportunity (to decide the best team) at the end of three matches, where there are ups and downs and a chance to rectify things that you got wrong in the first game, will be a good measure of how things are,” Kohli added.
Room for improvement
While Kohli reiterated that India would not be affected by the result, he emphasised the need to add more match-winners to the Test side. “We are not too bothered by this result because we understand what we have done as a Test side for the last three-four years, let alone the last 18 months.
“If you see our white-ball team now, we have great guys who are ready and confident. The same thing needs to be done with the Test side. You have to reassess and replan and understand what dynamics work for the team and how we can be fearless. Bring in the right people who have the right mindset to perform,” Kohli said.
Plans for England tour
The Indian side will now go on a month-long break ahead of its five-match Test match series against England in August. Kohli said his team will be ready for the challenge despite minimal match practice. “We wanted to play first-class games (against the counties), but that has not been given to us. I don’t know what the reasons for that are. But our preparation will be ample for us to be ready for the first Test.”
Kohli also highlighted the areas his team needed to focus on. “We need a better plan to understand how to score runs (in these conditions). We need to stay in sync with the momentum of the game and not let it drift away too much. I don’t think there are any technical difficulties (for the batsmen) and it’s more about the game awareness and not allowing bowlers to bowl in similar areas for longer periods.”