The World Test Championship is a league competition that was first proposed by ICC in 2013 but was started on 1st August 2019. It’s a tournament played by 9 test playing nations where each team plays 3 home and 3 away series over 2 years.
Not all the teams play the same number of matches but the points they can get from every series are fixed i.e. 120. If it’s a 2 match series then every match holds 60 points. If it’s a 5 match series, each game holds a total of 24 points.
The thing that circulates a zeal and pressure to win amongst the teams in the points they get when they draw a match. No team would want to draw a match as it only rewards them with one-third of the points they’ll get by winning. This is a major reason why we’ve seen teams choosing to attack rather than defend whenever in dilemma, in the past 2 years.
Whether it be the most historic test match at Headingley in 2019 between England and Australia, where Ben Stokes probably played the best test match innings, or the 4th test of the Border Gavaskar trophy when India chased down 328 runs playing with a bunch of rookies. Teams went for the win instead of going safe and steady.
This desperation for collecting all the points has made teams go all out at their opponents and attack with a winning mindset, a mindset that, in the past, only the top teams played with. This brings out the best in teams resulting in more people getting engaged with the longest format of the game.
The heroics of players like Ben Stokes and Rishabh Pant brought a new revelation in how people engaged with Test Cricket as a format. The concept of leagues and tournaments always drives in people as they have something to look for in the long run. Most people don’t bother watching a mere bilateral series with the losing team having no repercussions in the long run whatsoever.
The teams that reach the top are the teams that prove to be fierce and effective both playing at their home and playing away. Only the deserved and the best teams reach the top and this year was no different. New Zealand kept thrashing each team they faced at their home, India on the other hand, played more matches but were efficient both playing at home and away despite a massive 120 point loss against New Zealand in 2020.
The World Test Championship will surely make teams up their game and will replace non-deserving defensive teams with teams that really want to compete to win. We could see teams like Afghanistan replacing declining sides such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
A test match is the longest format of the game and it seems fair to judge teams over the period of two years. Only the teams which are sound technically, as well as managerially, go to the top. Though the World Test Championship has its downsides ie; not all teams get to face each other and play the same amount of matches, this concept is still bound to drive in more people to watch the game, which generates revenue. It also improves the intent and therefore the skill level of every single team along with the intensity they play with, making the World Test Championship a revelation on its own.