World Test Championships: We will regroup with new energy, says Virat Kohli

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday (July 14) officially confirmed that teams will be awarded standardised 12 points for a win, four for a draw and six for a tie during the second World Test Championship cycle which kicks off with the five-match series between India and England in August. The ICC further said that percentage of points won will be used to determine standings in the 2021-23 cycle.

Earlier, each Test series carried a value of 120 points which led to certain inequality in the table as a team winning a Test in a two-match series got 60 points compared to five-game series where a Test win is valued at 24 points.

ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said the changes were made to simplify the points system while taking learnings from the disruption last year. “We received feedback that the previous points system needed to be simplified. The Cricket Committee took this into consideration when proposing a new, standardized points system for each match. It maintained the principle of ensuring that all matches in a WTC series count towards a team’s standing, while accommodating series varying in length between two Tests and five Tests,” Allardice said in an ICC statement.

“During the pandemic we had to change to ranking teams on the points table using the percentage of available points won by each team, since all series could not be completed. This helped us determine the finalists and we were able to complete the championship within the scheduled time frame. This method also allowed us to compare the relative performance of teams at any time, regardless of how many matches they had played,” the ICC official added.

Apart from the India-England series, the Ashes later this year will be the only other five-match affair in the second cycle which will end in June 2023. Australia’s tour of India next year is the only four-Test series in the upcoming cycle.

The nine Test teams will play a total of six series – three home and three away just like the previous edition.

India captain Virat Kohli said after losing the inaugural WTC final to New Zealand, he expects his side to regroup with ‘new energy’ in the new cycle, which begins with the first Test against England starting August 4.

“It was great to have played the final of the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand in what was a memorable contest. Not just the final, we saw the determination of players throughout the first edition of the championship,” Kohli said.

“The following of cricket lovers too was great to see, and I am sure they will all be waiting eagerly for the second edition. We will regroup with new energy for the next cycle starting with our series against England.”

Reigning champion New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said WTC has revived people’s interest in the traditional format of the game. “It was obviously pretty special to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in Southampton last month and it’s exciting to now look ahead to the second edition.

“The WTC has certainly added more context and brought new meaning to Test cricket and it was awesome to see the interest that was generated around the Final against India,” he said.

“We know trying to defend the title will be a huge challenge, but our focus will be on making sure we prepare as well as we can for the tours ahead and trying to maintain our level of performance,” Williamson added.

(with PTI inputs)





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