Kolkata: Indian skipper Virat Kohli promised that his team will ‘‘regroup with new energy’’ for the second cycle of World Test Championship, beginning with the India-England series starting next month. The first of the five-Test series will get underway at Trent Bridge on August 4 as the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed the points system for the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), as well as the bilateral series, that will be part of the 2021-23 cycle.
“It was great to have played the final of the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand in what was a memorable contest,’’ Kohli said in a statement.
“Not just the final, we saw the determination of players throughout the first edition of the championship. The following of cricket lovers too was great to see, and I am sure they will all be waiting eagerly for the second edition,’’ said Kohli, himself a great admirer of this format.
“We will regroup with new energy for the next cycle starting with our series against England, hoping to give our fans a lot to cheer about,’’ said the Indian skipper, whose team lost the WTC final by eight wickets in Southampton last month.
England’s Test captain Joe Root said: “We start our campaign in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship against the finalists of last time, which is an interesting challenge straight away. India are a fine allround side and it would be good to test them in our home conditions.
“We narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final last time and are looking to do better this time. Test cricket is a format we all want to excel in and with points at stake for each match, everyone has to be at their best all the time,” he added.
Kane Williamson, captain of defending champions New Zealand, said: “We know trying to defend the title will be a huge challenge, but our focus will be on making sure we prepare as well as we can for the tours ahead and trying to maintain our level of performance.”
Points per match, not series
Meanwhile, Each match of the upcoming WTC will now be contested for the same number of points – 12 for a win, four for a draw and six for a tie, moving away from the previous system where the identical number of points were allocated to each series, divided across the number of matches played.
ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said the changes had been made to simplify the points system. “We received feedback that the previous points system needed to be simplified. The Cricket Committee took this into consideration when proposing a new, standardized points system for each match. It maintained the principle of ensuring that all matches in a WTC series count towards a team’s standing, while accommodating series varying in length between two Tests and five Tests.
“During the pandemic, we had to change to ranking teams on the points table using the percentage of available points won by each team, since all series could not be completed,’’ Allardice noted.
Like in the first edition of the championship, the nine teams will play six series each, three home and three away with the cut-off date being March 31, 2023.
SECOND WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP CYCLE (2021-23)
Australia (Home): England, S Africa, West Indies; (Away): India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Bangladesh: Home: Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka; Away: S. Africa, New Zealand, West Indies
England: Home: India, S. Africa, New Zealand; Away: Pakistan, West Indies, Australia
India: Home: Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia; Away: Bangladesh, England, South Africa
New Zealand: Home: South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka; Away: England, Pakistan, India
Pakistan: Home: Australia, England, New Zealand; Away: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies
South Africa: Home: India, West Indies, Bangladesh; Away: Australia, England, New Zealand
Sri Lanka: Home: West Indies, Australia, Pakistan; Away: Bangladesh, New Zealand, India
West Indies: Home: Pakistan, Bangladesh, England; Away: Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka