Three-match World Test Championship final would be better, says Shastri

India head coach Ravi Shastri believes a best-of-three World Test Championship final would be better for deciding the winner.

India are due to clash with New Zealand at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, from June 18.

The two top-ranked Test teams will battle for the honor of being the inaugural champions of the tournament.

The World Test Championship was introduced in 2019 and aims to be the main tournament for Test cricket, giving every format its pinnacle contest.

India are currently the favorites to take the win, and many online cricket betting sites offer competitive odds. Virat Kohli’s men can be backed at 2.1 with 1xBet, while New Zealand are priced at 2.25. The draw is available at 6.0.

The two sides booked their place in the final after being awarded points for their Test performances over the course of the last two years.

England had initially looked on track to face India in the final before the ICC was forced to alter the standings based on a percentage of points (PCT) due to the number of games that had to be postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Zealand subsequently won their home series against West Indies and Pakistan to book their spot in the much-anticipated one-match final.

However, Shastri feels it would be fairer if the winner were decided over three matches instead of one and thinks it could be considered as the tournament develops.

He said: “In the long run, a best-of-three final will be ideal as a culmination of two-and-a-half years of cricket around the globe. But we have to finish it as quickly as possible because of the FTP (Future Tours Programme) that will start all over again.

So one-off is a one-off. The guys have earned their rights. This wasn’t built overnight. When you start being on top you have the ability to pull yourself on top,” said Shastri.

The coach also underlined just how big he feels this game is for India.

He added: “It’s the first time you have a Test Championship final. When you look at that and the magnitude of the game that will be played, I think this is the biggest because it is the toughest format of the game.

“It is a format that tests you. It has not happened over three days, or three months, it has happened over two years. Teams have played each other around the world and earned their stripes to play the final. So it is one heck of an event.”

Captain and Indian cricket’s biggest star, Virat Kohli, agreed with Shastri about the magnitude of the game ahead.

He 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.

“For all of us as a unit, those who have been part of the Test side for many years, this is like the accumulation of all the hard work of not just the duration of the championship but the last five-six years.

“Since the time we started coming up the ranks and building up a side. We are very, very happy to play the final.”

The World Test Championship will see the India team return to action in the longest format since they defeated England at the start of the year.

They will then go to Sri Lanka for a white-ball series before returning to England for a five-Test series in August.

Indian players will then turn their attention back to the rescheduled IPL, which will now be held in September in the UAE, hosting last year’s event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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