MUMBAI (Reuters) - The World Test Championship has already raised the excitement level in the longest format with points on offer for every match but an away win should earn a team double that is awarded for a victory at home, India captain Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.
The International Cricket Council has been determined to create a meaningful competition for tests, which is typically played over two-innings-a-side and upto five days, and the WTC has been designed to give proper context to bilateral matches.
The Championship will see the top nine test nations face-off over a two-year period, scoring points based on their success and culminating in a final at Lord’s in June 2021.
World’s top-ranked test side India lead the standings with three wins from as many matches with away victories against West Indies and the win over South Africa on Sunday.
“The importance of every game has become that much more,” Kohli told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the team’s second test against South Africa.
“In situations in a three-match series you probably would have played out a draw, teams are going to go for wins and get those extra points.
“I think it’s great for test cricket, the matches are going to be that much more exciting is what we all feel and we can already experience that.
“If you would have asked me to make the points table, I would give double the points for an away test win. That is something I would definitely have liked to see, maybe after the first edition.”
India notched up a convincing 203-run win in the opening test against South Africa at Visakhapatnam with an all-round performance and would have a chance to wrap up the three-test series with a game to spare.
While the hosts did not name their playing side with a final call to be taken on the morning of the match on Thursday, Kohli said he did not expect any change looking at the pitch, on which India lost to Australia inside three days in 2017.
“It will have to be a decision taken tomorrow morning,” Kohli said, adding the pitch should be suited to good cricket.
“More or less our team is settled. I don’t think it’s going to play that big a factor because when the pitch is damp, it turns as well.
“(But) Unless you have a pitch which has total grass coverage, only then you think of changing your combination too much. Because you know it’s going to dry out at some stage.”
India deployed two spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and the same number of fast bowlers in Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma with Hanuma Vihari the spin-bowling all-rounder in their opening win in the series.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge