India vs England: Despite reservations, Virat Kohli lauds WTC, says ‘It’s a very positive move as not many players are motivated to play Test cricket’: India skipper Virat Kohli feels there is not enough motivation for all the players in Test cricket, and this is the big reason why every team is not able to compete in the longest format these days. India and England will be locking horns in five Tests, with the first starting on Wednesday. This series marks the start of the second World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.
“Test cricket would have been in trouble three years back as well, but I think it’s the players that keep Test cricket alive. To be honest, if we did not have the mindset to play Test cricket and be so passionate for it, then it would have taken a huge hit or that would have given a huge blow to Test cricket all over the world. I can assure you that,” said Kohli in an interview with Dinesh Karthik for Sky Sports. “WTC is a very positive move, it is a step in the right direction, there is everything at stake in every Test match you play and I think it all depends what the players want from Test cricket. If people watching on television feel like I do not want to miss a ball, that is eventually what is going to keep Test cricket alive,” he added.
When Karthik asked why there are not enough teams really competing in the longest format, Kohli said: “Firstly, you need to be honest with yourself. You know Test cricket is tough, even when you are one of the top teams in the world, you can go into a space where you do not want it. At certain stages, you can feel like do I want to do this over five days? Are you ready to go out there on day three when stakes are against you? Are you strong enough to do that.”
“Firstly, looking yourself at the mirror and asking do you want to play Test and if the answer is yes then just go out there and be relentless. I honestly feel there is not enough motivation for people towards Test cricket, something I have observed. That is why invariably you see, teams giving up in Test cricket,” he added.
In the first WTC cycle, New Zealand defeated India in the finals to win the Test mace. India had last won a Test series in England in 2007 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and after that, the Men in Blue have struggled to get past the Three Lions on their own backyard.