Test matches in recent years have got more competitive, and the ICC World Test Championship will only make it more so, Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, has said.
Kohli's love for the red-ball format is no secret, and he is now excited by what the Test Championship has to offer.
"The games are going to be much more competitive and it brings a lot of purpose to the Test matches you play. It's the right move and the absolute right time," he said on Monday, 19 August, at a discussion during the CWI/WIPA awards night, at which the Indian team were guests.
"People have been talking about Test cricket not being relevant or dying down. For me, the competition has gone up two-fold the last couple of years," he went on. "It's up to the players to take the challenge and go for victories.
"That's going to be the essence of this Test championship as well. There will hardly be any boring draws, there will be exciting draws, because everyone will want those extra points."
England and Australia in the Ashes, and Sri Lanka and New Zealand, have begun their Championship campaigns. Both series have seen bowlers play crucial roles, with the teams not able to pile on big totals. Kohli, whose team are preparing to take on West Indies, whose bowlers too have come into their own in home conditions, agreed that there has been a revival of sorts in bowling, and it was now up to the batsmen to match up to it.
People have been talking about Test cricket not being relevant or dying down. For me, the competition has gone up two-fold the last couple of years.
"I don't think us batsmen have lived up to the standard," he said, stressing on the importance of the batting coming together as a team, rather than individuals doing well. "Batsmanship will always be hard at the Test level, but even harder now with the Championship where every decision you make counts in the larger scheme of things."
India and West Indies begin their campaigns in the competition on Thursday, 22 August. Kohli, whose side are also hoping to hold on to their No.1 spot on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, wants consistency from his men.
"It's about continuing the same work we've done and making sure we're consistent enough like we have been over the past couple of seasons."
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