January 30, 2023
R Ashwin suggests neutral venues for series that count towards WTC points


India spinner additionally thinks New Zealand will come into WTC closing ‘with a bonus’, having performed England in England within the lead-in

Every week earlier than the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) closing in Southampton, India offspinner R Ashwin has urged that one of many event’s potential evolutions could possibly be that groups play the bilateral series that count towards WTC points at neutral venues to “add context”.

“If I may say this, it has to be the most exciting part of playing Test cricket. In all these years, it never happened – we’ve never played a team in a neutral venue,” Ashwin stated on bcci.television. “But I think going forward, maybe the WTC could add context this way, [by having] two teams playing away from their home and sort of bringing the whole ebbs and flows of the game.”

The WTC’s first version ran a two-year cycle beginning in 2019. As per the unique construction devised by the ICC, every staff was to play six bilateral series, three at house and three away. To make every match count, points have been handed out for each match, with the highest two groups on the points desk contesting a one-off closing. The closing of the primary version between India and New Zealand will occur in Southampton, a neutral venue, and Ashwin stated it might add extra to the standard of the event if the related bilateral series took the same route.

Ashwin’s viewpoint was additionally shared by his India team-mate and quick bowler Mohammed Shami, who – additionally chatting with bcci.television – stated India and New Zealand squaring off within the closing with out both having a “home advantage” would make for good competitors.
This is the second suggestion for potential enhancements on the WTC coming from the Indian camp. Before their departure to England, head coach Ravi Shastri had stated that a best-of-three series ought to be thought of to crown the WTC winner, versus a one-off recreation on the finish of the two-year cycle. Shastri appreciated that situations world wide will not be suited to such a series in the meanwhile, however stated it could be the “ideal” fruits to a two-and-a-half yr event going ahead.
‘New Zealand will are available with a bonus’
India can be heading into this WTC closing with much less recreation time within the lead-up than New Zealand, who’re presently taking part in the second Test of a two-match series towards England in England. While the first game was truncated because of the climate and a number of senior gamers have been rested for the second, the exercise in English situations ought to provide New Zealand a bonus.

“I expect a very well-planned and well-knit New Zealand team to come at us,” Ashwin stated. “Obviously having played two Tests, they will definitely come in with an advantage. So we have to adapt to that.”

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