Virat Kohli, the India captain, has labelled the ICC World Test Championship as the pinnacle of all global tournaments ahead of their two-Test series against New Zealand, beginning on Friday, 21 February in Wellington.
India have won each of their seven games in the World Test Championship so far, and currently occupy the top position in the standings with 360 points. Kohli hopes India can maintain that glorious run and book a spot in the final, which will be played at Lord's next year.
"I think Test Championship, as an ICC tournament, should be right up there," he said. "All the other tournaments, for me, start under that. This is going to be the biggest of them all. Every team wants to make it to the final at Lord's. And we are not any different. We want those points and make sure that we qualify as early as we can, and be in that frame of mind to hopefully win that."
I think you will see a lot more results like that because of the points that are on the line.
Kohli, who has won 33 Tests as Indian captain, the most by anyone, said the value of each result couldn't be overstated, and cited the example of the recent Test series played between South Africa and England. "The series in South Africa was pretty interesting, with South Africa winning the first [Test], and then England winning the Cape Town one, the way they won in the last hour," said Kohli. "You will see a lot more results like that because of the points that are on the line."
The 31-year-old also reiterated the importance of workload management for players, especially those playing all formats. He revealed he has found taking periodic breaks helpful in dealing with the intensity. "I think it's been eight or nine years that I have been playing almost 300 days a year with the travelling and practice sessions," said Kohli.
"And the intensity is right up there all the time. I am not saying it's not something the players are not thinking about. We do choose to take a lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you to. You are going to see a lot of that in the future from many players. Not just myself, especially from the guys who are playing all three formats. It's not that easy.
"Then being captain and having intensity in practice sessions and discussing the game ... it does take a toll on you. So periodic breaks for me seems to work pretty okay. At a time when the body doesn't respond as well, maybe when I am 34-35, you might have a different conversation at that stage. But, for the next two-three years, I have no issues at all. The mindset is on the larger picture, and from that point, I am preparing myself for a rigorous three years from now."
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