Former India legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar suggests that the decider of the World Test Championship, from the next cycle onwards, could be done in a series contest, instead of a one-off Test, which is currently in place.
India and New Zealand will face off against each other in the final of the inaugural edition of the WTC from June 18 in Southampton. However, there have been questions about keeping just a single Test, Sachin Tendulkar points out, as a final when the entire tournament was played across two years with a number of series.
The 200-Test veteran reckons it is fine for a one-off final in white-ball cricket since the entire tournament is played out in one go, unlike WTC which ran from 2019 to 2021. Taking the example of the last two series of India – against Australia and England – which had 4 and 5 matches.
“Because you look at T20 or even for that matter 50-over World Cup, you just play each opposition once and then you get to the finals. And it’s only one match in the finals. And here, you have played four-match Test series in Australia, you have played a four-match Test series in India against England.
“So, you have played these series which had 3 or 4 Test matches, and suddenly you get to finals and it’s only one game,” Sachin Tendulkar told Times Now.
However, Sachin Tendulkar understands that keeping a series of finals would be challenging, especially considering the covid-19 circumstances.
“So this could have been WTC final Test series. That should have been the case. But I know its challenges. That means you gotta have all Test nations frequently for quite some time to accommodate 3 Test matches.
“So it’s a challenge but I think over a period of time, we will come up with a solution which is appreciated by everyone. And look at even Test cricket – earlier days Test cricket was played till the end. So there were Test matches which went on for 6, 7, 8 days. And then there was a period when there used to be a rest day. I have been a part of that,” the batting maestro further opined.
ICC to continue with one-off final for next WTC cycle:
Earlier, Ravi Shastri, head coach of Team India, had also, in some ways, echoed Sachin Tendulkar’s thoughts. Shastri recommended a best-of-three final to decide the winner of a two-year cycle.
“Ideally, in the long run, if they want to persist with the Test Championship, a best-of-three final will be ideal. As a culmination of two-and-a-half years of cricket around the globe. Going forward, the best of three will be ideal, but we have got to finish it as quickly as possible because the FTP will start all over again,” Shastri told media.
The ICC, however, has decided to continue with a one-off final for the next cycle. Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s acting chief executive officer, during a media chat on Monday, has confirmed the same; he also explained that blocking out an entire month for the WTC Test finals series wasn’t feasible.
“In a perfect world a three-Test series would be a great way to decide the World Test Championship.. But the reality (of) the international cricket schedule is we are just not going to have [a situation where] blocking out a month or so for all the teams in the tournament for the final is realistic.
“That’s why one-match final was decided upon. Why it is quite exciting is because it brings something new. Here were are – we’ve got a one-off Test match to decide the best team in the world over this two-year cycle,” Allardice stated.