London: Ahead of the final against India, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has praised the ICC World Test Championship for bringing more context to the sport’s most traditional format.
The Black Caps will take on India in the inaugural WTC final at Southampton from June 18, having earned their spot in the decider over the two-year tournament cycle.
Both sides left it late to secure their spots, with New Zealand ultimately having to win six Tests on the trot to make it and India having to prevail over England across four matches.
‘They have looked to bring about more context to the Test format and I think we saw it at the end of the competition, teams trying to push their case for qualifying which made way for a lot of exciting results,’ Williamson said an ICC release.
‘I thought it proved to be great adding that context and for us to see ourselves in the position we are in the finals now. It is exciting,’ he added.
The New Zealand skipper believes the carrot of playing in the WTC final saw sides around the world playing a different brand of cricket to try and win one of the two coveted spots.
‘Obviously the idea behind the tournament structure of Test championship and added points and these sorts of things to entice and improve the brand of the game and I think when it came to the crunch time, you could see the equation of what they had to do to be involved in the final,’ he added.
‘You saw sides play that way which is what they are after. Hopefully, that has generated a lot of interest from the public and enjoyment of the Test game, which is obviously what cricketers are involved in.
It is the pinnacle and I certainly enjoy playing it. It has added a good element to the Test format,’ he added.
The No 2 team on the ICC’s Test rankings, New Zealand are facing the one team above them in the decider. If they finish their current series against England without defeat and beat India in the final, they can move to the top of the Test rankings.
“We are looking forward to that when we are taking on the top-rank side in the world,” Williamson said of the final.
“We know how strong they are and the depth they have. So exciting to be playing against each other at a neutral venue,” he added.