India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns in the maiden World Test Championship final(WTC) on the 18th of June at Southampton. Ahead of the big clash team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri believes that the WTC should be decided in a best-of-three series.
Currently, New Zealand is playing a test series in English conditions with the hosts just ahead of the big clash. This is an added advantage for the kiwis which will help them prepare for the big day.
The inaugural WTC final is a one-off Test between India and New Zealand, for which India left for England on June 2. Coach Ravi Shastri said he could understand the constraints of a busy calendar, but hoped the final going forward will be a three-Test series.
Ravi Shastri on WTC final:
Team India believes the WTC final should be decided in a best-of-three series, a fitting finale after two years of hard work around the world. Head coach Ravi Shastri said he could understand the constraints of a busy calendar, but hoped the final going forward will be a three-Test series. This what he had to say in a recent chat-
“Ideally, in the long run, if they want to persist with the Test Championship, a best-of-three final will be ideal. Going forward, the best of three will be ideal, but we have got to finish it as quickly as possible because the FTP will start all over again.”
While sharing his views on the maiden World Test Championship final and said this match is the “biggest”. “When you look at that and the magnitude of the game that is going to be played, I think this is the biggest. If not the biggest ever. Because it is the toughest format of the game. It is a format that tests you.”– the 59-year-old added.
Before departing for the four-month-long tour, both Indian skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri addressed a press conference where captain Kohli agreed to Shastri and said-
“This holds a lot of value, especially this being the first of its kind. And in the toughest format. All of us take a lot of pride in playing Test cricket and the way we have progressed as a side is an example of what Test cricket means to us. We are very very happy to play the final.”
It can then seem unfair on either side to have the championship decided over one Test, but Shastri and Kohli said the final wouldn’t change what their side has done over the last few years.
“One-off is a one-off, and the guys have earned their stripes. This is not a team that has blossomed overnight. Five years No. 1. When you start being on top or playing cricket at the highest level or competing against the best, you have the ability to pull yourselves out of tough situations.”
Kohli said he didn’t look at the final or the England Test series that follows as a destination or a final frontier. “I don’t think that there is any frontier for us. If you look at our transition, the transition was smooth for us. Because we are really committed to keeping Indian cricket on top.”– Kohli added.
India has been among the best sides in all formats for a while now but hasn’t won an ICC title since 2013. Two of their recent heartbreaks have come in England when they lost the Champions Trophy final in 2017 and the World Cup semi-final in 2019 after looking like the best side in those tournaments. Kohli said his side will not take any pressure from that but look to enjoy the final.
The Indian team is currently under quarantine in Southampton, England. The entire contingent, including the support and coaching staff, and the women’s team, checked in at the Hilton Hotel on June 3. The hotel is located on the premises of the Ageas Bowl, the venue for the grand finale.