Best-of-three finals would be ideal for WTC: Shastri

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 2 (ANI): India head coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday said that going ahead, the International Cricket Council (ICC) should look to make the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) a best-of-three contest and it could be played like a three-match series.

India and New Zealand will lock horns in the finals of WTC at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, beginning June 18. Before that, New Zealand will also play a two-match Test series against England, which has begun today at Lord’s.

“I think ideally in the long run, if they want to pursue this WTC, best of three finals would be ideal. But you have to finish it as early as possible, because of the FTP (Future Tours Programme). One-off is a one-off. Guys have earned their stripes. When you start competing at the top, you have the ability to pull yourself out of tough situations. This side has pulled itself out of big problems so I think the final is a great victory for the boys really,” said Shastri during a virtual press conference.

When skipper Virat Kohli was asked whether he would be under pressure in the WTC final, he said: “It is no challenge for me, for the team’s point of view, it has been challenging for us, now is the time for us to go out there and enjoy. We have worked hard in the last 5-6 years, we look at things differently when you compare it with the people outside, if we start thinking like people outside, we would not be able to perform.””There is no pressure on me, I am just fulfilling the responsibility which has been given to me. I am committed to taking Indian cricket ahead and I will be always like this till the game I play the game. There has never been pressure on me and there would be no pressure going ahead. As long as I am helping the teammates and they are helping each other, this is the only thing that matters. We want to enjoy the final,” he added.

“The Indian Men’s team will arrive in the UK on June 3, 2021, via a chartered flight with negative PCR Test,” ICC said in an official release. Prior to travelling, the party will have spent 14 days in a bio-secure environment in India during which regular testing will have taken place.

Upon landing, they will proceed directly to the on-site hotel at the Hampshire Bowl where they will be tested again before commencing a period of managed isolation. Regular tests will be conducted during the period of isolation. Players’ activity will be allowed in a gradually increasing manner after each round of negative testing, moving from exercise in isolation to small group and then larger squad activity, whilst always remaining within the bio-secure venue. (ANI)