Rohit wants best-of-three finals format after seismic Oval defeat in WTC final

Team India skipper Rohit Sharma has called for a best-of-three finals format and a preparation for at least 20-25 days in case they reach a third successive World Test Championship (WTC) final following back-to-back defeats.

India lost to Australia by 209 runs at The Oval on Sunday to extend their barren run in ICC events since 2013. They had finished runners-up to New Zealand in the inaugural WTC final, also held in England, two years ago.

Then head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli had highlighted the need for a best-of-three finals following the game against New Zealand at Southampton.

A best-of-three format would need at least a one month window, which is extremely tough to fit in a calendar busier than ever with the advent of T20 leagues around the world. However, Rohit would love to have that.

“I would love that. But is there a time? That`s the big question. But honestly, in a big event like this, you need to have fair opportunities to both the teams. You know, a three-match series would be nice, but it`s about finding that window where it can be fit in.

“But I would love to have – in an event like this, you work hard for two years and then you have only one shot at it. So, it`s not really – you cannot get into that momentum that you need in Test cricket, you know.

Also Read: How Team India`s 2023 WTC final defeat brings back 2003 World Cup memories?

“Test cricket is all about finding that rhythm, finding that momentum as well. So, I think, yeah if in the next cycle, if it is possible, three match series would be ideal,” said the skipper.

However, his opposite number Pat Cummins politely disagreed after taking his team to a maiden WTC title.

“I think it`s fine. No qualms. I think ideally you`d have 50 match series but Olympics have come down to one race to win a gold medal. AFL, NRL seasons have finals. That`s sport,” said Cummins in his brief response.

Since most of the squad members were busy with the IPL, they could only get a week to train together for the final against Australia.

Going forward, Rohit would like much longer preparation period and he would also want to see the final being played at a different time and in a different location.

“Ideally, yes, event like this, final like this, you need a lot of time to prepare yourself and that is what we did in the last time when we were here in England. We had good 25-30 days to prepare ourselves. And you saw the result. We were 2-1 up until that game got called off.

“We would want to have good time in hand to prepare, give enough rest to the bowlers.

“And then Test cricket obviously requires a lot of discipline, hitting that area consistently and challenging the batsmen – but again you know Shami, Siraj, Umesh they all are experienced. But in an ideal scenario, yes, I would prefer if we have 20, 25 days to prepare for a game like this,” said Rohit.

The ICC has already stated that the next WTC final will be played at the Lord`s but Rohit said the game can be played anywhere.

“I mean, June is not the only month we should play the finals. It can be played any time of the year. And anywhere in the world, not just in England. It can be played anywhere in the world,” he added. 

(With PTI inputs)

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