Zone Blitz: Will the ICC Test Championship be good for cricket?

By Wayne Lewis, Mariah Ramharack and Lance Whittaker August 01, 2019

The newly implemented  ICC Test Championship is supposed to bring fans back to Test cricket but will it succeed?

Related items

  • Kohli laments India's uncompetitiveness after first Test loss Kohli laments India's uncompetitiveness after first Test loss

    Virat Kohli lamented India's uncompetitiveness with the bat in the first innings of their comprehensive Test loss to New Zealand.

    The Black Caps secured their 100th Test victory on Monday, beating India by 10 wickets in Wellington in the series opener.

    India were bowled out for 165 in the first innings and 191 in the second and Kohli rued their initial effort at the Basin Reserve.

    "It was probably the toss that turned out to be very important, but at the same time as a batting unit I think we take a lot of pride in being competitive and we were just not competitive enough," India captain Kohli told Sky Sport.

    "I don't think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings. Anything over 220-230 then you're talking a different language and even the deficit looks much lesser if you get that score on the board and you get the last three batsmen out cheaper, which wasn't the case.

    "But I think that first innings really put us behind in the game already and then that lead obviously put us under a lot of pressure which was hard to come back from."

    India had New Zealand at 225-7 in their first innings, only for Kyle Jamieson (44), Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Trent Boult (38) to push the hosts to 348.

    Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the victory, with Tim Southee grabbing a five-for in the second innings.

    "It was an outstanding effort over the space of four days and we know how strong this Indian team is all around the world," he said.

    "The efforts that went into that first innings to put the ball in the right area for long periods of time and I think that with the bat to get what was a very competitive total on a surface that I thought was a really good one that offered throughout the whole match, and the lower-order runs are really important to try and get a little bit of a lead.

    "As we saw that if you did pick up a wicket you could get a couple so an outstanding all-round team effort."

    The second and final Test starts in Christchurch on Saturday.

  • Southee claims five-for as New Zealand crush India in Test opener Southee claims five-for as New Zealand crush India in Test opener

    Tim Southee claimed a five-for to lead New Zealand to a 10-wicket humbling of India in the first Test on Monday.

    Southee grabbed his 10th five-wicket Test haul – only two men have earned more for the Black Caps – as New Zealand wrapped up the opening Test inside four days against the ICC's top-ranked team.

    Led by paceman Southee, New Zealand skittled touring India for just 191 early on day four and Tom Latham (7) and Tom Blundell (2) easily hit the winning nine runs.

    It was a milestone win for New Zealand after the Black Caps registered their 100th Test victory, becoming the seventh nation to reach the century mark in the longest format of the game, while ending a three-match losing run in the unlimited-overs game.

    India, who managed just 165 in the first innings as New Zealand posted 348, returned to the crease at 144-4 – still 39 runs adrift.

    In a commanding position, the Black Caps put India to the sword after Virat Kohli's visitors lost 47-6 during the morning session.

    New Zealand quick Trent Boult (4-39) set the tone with the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane for 29, before Southee took centre stage at the Basin Reserve.

    India were helpless to stop Southee, who knocked over Hanuma Vihari's stumps for 15 the following over and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) was the next to go after being trapped lbw.

    Ishant Sharma (12) was also dismissed lbw by Colin de Grandhomme (1-28) before Southee cleaned up Rishabh Pant (25) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) within four deliveries.

    It left New Zealand chasing just nine runs and the home team cruised to a massive victory, snapping India's seven-match winning streak in Tests.

  • Windies fined 40 per cent match fee for slow over rate against Sri Lanka Windies fined 40 per cent match fee for slow over rate against Sri Lanka

    The West Indies team has been fined for a slow over rate in the one-run loss to Sri Lanka, in the first One Day International (ODI), in Colombo on Saturday.

    The sanctions were imposed after the Kieron Pollard-led side was found to be two overs short of the target, even with time allowances considered.  Pollard pleaded guilty to the charges, which will negate the need for a formal hearing.

    According to Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.

    The charges were brought by on-field umpires Paul Wilson and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, third umpire Marais Erasmus and fourth official Lyndon Hannibal.  Earlier, South Africa and Australia played the Johannesburg T20I where the visitors Australia claimed a big victory by 107 runs.

    After that match, South African players faced 20% fine of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate. The hosts were one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

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