India vs West Indies, India, West Indies, World Test Championship
India will get their World Test Championship campaign underway when they face West Indies in two Tests with the first match at Antigua on August 22.

Virat Kohli is pretty excited about the World Test Championship and said that the competition in the longer format has gone up two-fold. The inaugural edition will see elite nations – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – fight for top honours across 71 Test matches in 27 series over the next two years.

“The games are going to be much more competitive and it brings a lot of purpose to the Test matches you play. It’s the right move and the absolute right time,” the Indian captain said on Monday at a discussion during the CWI/WIPA awards night, at which the Indian team were guests.

“People have been talking about Test cricket not being relevant or dying down. For me, the competition has gone up two-fold the last couple of years.”

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According to Kohli, a lot of the responsibility will rest on the players’ shoulders. “It’s up to the players to take the challenge and go for victories. That’s going to be the essence of this Test championship as well. There will hardly be any boring draws, there will be exciting draws, because everyone will want those extra points.”

England and Australia kick-started the World Test Championship with the Ashes 2019 series. Sri Lanka and New Zealand have begun their Championship campaigns. India will face West Indies in two Tests with the first match at Antigua on August 22.

Kohli agreed that bowlers have stepped up in away conditions and it was now up to the batsmen to match up to it.

“I don’t think us batsmen have lived up to the standard,” he said focussing on the importance of the batting coming together as a team. Batsmanship will always be hard at the Test level, but even harder now with the Championship where every decision you make counts in the larger scheme of things.”

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“It’s about continuing the same work we’ve done and making sure we’re consistent enough like we have been over the past couple of seasons.”