World Test Championship: ‘It’s very exciting’ – Virat Kohli
Indian team has not been able to improve its overseas record. © AFP

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has welcomed the inaugural ICC World Test Championship which gets underway next month, terming the initiative as helping give bilateral Test series more context.

The new ICC Test Championship will begin with the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on August 1, and Kohli’s Indian cricket team will join the competition last that month when they meet West Indies for a two-Test series.

(READ: World Test Championship: Adding context to Test cricket)

“It’s very exciting. I think it’s happening at the right time for Test cricket,” Kohli told the Times of India. “Although you are going to play bilateral series, the meaning and importance is way more. You have to plan for every series. I was excited about something of this sort and now it’s coming to life.”

As per the ICC Test Championship, nine of the 12 Test countries (barring Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe) will contest six series across two years – three home, three away – in a league format which culminates in a final in June 2021.

(READ: Fitness has made Indian fast bowlers feared – Kohli)

During the two-year window the nine teams will play a total of 27 series – three away and three home series -comprising of a minimum of two Tests and maximum of five. The top two teams at the top of the points tally will play in the final from June 14-20, 2021.

The World Test Championship gets underway with the Ashes series from August 1. The four-day Test between England and Ireland starting at Lord’s today is not part of the competition.

India are ranked No 1 in Tests. England are ranked fourth in Tests and Australia are fifth.