Wellington: India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday rated the World Test Championship as the biggest among all the ICC events in the wake of revelations that the game's governing body is planning to have more flagship white-ball tournaments during the next eight-year cycle from 2023-2031.
According to ICC's proposed 2023-2031 Future Tours Programme (FTP) cycle, a proposed T20 Champions Cup is earmarked for 2024 and 2028 and an ODI Champions Cup in 2025 and 2029, alongside the T20 World Cups in 2026 and 2030, and the ODI World Cups in 2027 and 2031.
"I think World Test Championship as an ICC tournament should be right up there. All the other tournaments for me they start under that. This is probably the biggest of them all as every team wants to make it to the final at the Lord's. We are no different."
"We are in that zone. We want to make sure that we qualify as soon as we can and be in that frame of mind to hopefully win that (championship)," said the Indian skipper ahead of the first Test against New Zealand from Friday.
Kohli has no doubts that World Test Championship has added a context to the traditional format making the contests more exciting with points on offer.
"It has made Test cricket more exciting and that's something we have experienced as a side although we haven't had too many games away from home. A couple of games in the West Indies and we haven't had a tour of Australia as a part of Test Championship. This is our first away tour since the start of home season," said Kohli.
The skipper expects that the two-Test series will be as intense as the recent series between England and South Africa.
"Games will be intense and teams will go for wins rather than settling for draws which is what we need to see in Test cricket. The South Africa versus England series was very exciting. England won the Cape Town Test in the final hour and you will see lot more results like that because there are a lot more points on the line," he added.
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Shastri, along with several other players, have been very vocal about the challenges of being in bio-bubbles for long periods of time.
While he would prepare in earnest, Bhuvneshwar doesn't want to make too many plans as they can always come a cropper due to various reasons.