St John’s: As India and West Indies get ready to face each other in the two-match Test series (part of World Test Championship), skipper Virat Kohli said he believes that WTC will take the standard of cricket higher.
“It puts things into perspective a lot more. A lot of dynamics of what’s on the line, all that changes. When you have points to gain, every match becomes that much important. It will bring in more competition, more requirement of concentration, more precise cricket. World Test Championship is going to take the standard of cricket higher,” Kohli told reporters ahead of the first Test match.
When asked about the team combination for the first Test match, Kohli replied that the final XI has not been decided yet, but he believes that the decision will be to choose from the combination of 3 seamers and 1 spinner or 2 seamers and 2 spinners.
“We are still thinking about the combination. We have not taken a look at the wicket as it was still covered. It will be a choice between 3 quicks and a spinner or 2 seamers and 2 spinners. We are very flexible and open at the moment related to the squad selection,” Kohli said.
Before the first Test match, India played a three-day practice game against West Indies A. The match ended up as a draw but Kohli said that the game proved to be a perfect foil for players as everyone got some time out in the middle.
“Everyone looks good and confident about their skill set. As a captain, it looks good when all players are raring to go. Everyone got a decent outing with a bat and ball in the practice game. We are in a good space right now, these kinds of practice games help you in ticking certain boxes,” Kohli said.
In 2018, India had managed to defeat Australia on their home soil. Kohli said that the team needs to build on the success of Down Under and look to keep improving their performances.
The result in Australia came after a 1-4 loss against England in 2018. “We need to continue the good work we did in Australia. In England we learnt that we cannot lose six wickets in a session, every team knows how to take wickets and be precise. If we lose a couple of wickets, we need to show discipline. Test cricket is all about earning the right to play well,” Kohli said.
Kohli scored his first double century in Antigua in 2016 and said Antigua will always be special to him.
He also went on to add that the senior players in the middle order want to take the bulk of the responsibility.
“I love coming to this place. Antigua gives me a calming experience. I remember I scored my first double hundred here, it’s a good feeling coming back here,” Kohli said.
“We are senior players, we want to take the bulk of the load. We want to control the middle order, we have selected just two openers in the squad. So the thought process is to give them a good run,” he added.
India defeated West Indies in the recently concluded T20I and ODI series.
The Men in Blue outclassed Windies 3-0 in T20Is whereas they defeated the team from Caribbean 2-0 in ODIs.
Kohli had a record-breaking run in the ODI series as he scored 234 runs in the ODIs.
He became the first batsman to record 20,000 international runs in a single decade. During the ODI series, he also became the highest run-getter against Windies in the 50-over format.
The 30-year-old also went past Sourav Ganguly to become second-highest run-scorer for India in ODI cricket.
India would look to hold on to their number one ranking in the Test format when they take on West Indies.
If the team loses 0-1 against the team from the Caribbean, India can get dethroned from the pole position in the ICC Test rankings.
India takes on Windies in the first Test match at Antigua later today.