Ross Taylor, a former New Zealand captain, liked the World Test Championship because it gave the longest form of the sport more meaning and context. He also thought that “smaller nations” should play more Test matches to make sure there was more balance.
New Zealand won the first round of the World Test Championship, but they only played 11 Tests, while India played 19. The other two powerhouses, England and Australia, played 21 and 14, respectively. The numbers have been the same in the current cycle, with England, Australia, and India each getting 22, 19, and 18 points. Sri Lanka only played in 12 Test matches. If they had won their last series of the cycle 2-0, they could have replaced India as the top team in the 2021–2023 cycle.
“England, India, and Australia probably play the most Test matches in each cycle. I think what we want to do is get the numbers a little closer together “Taylor said in an online media exchange. “Sri Lanka only played 11 or 12 and were still in the running. There will never be a perfect formula, because England and Australia have been playing those traditional five-Test match series for years and years. It’s not the best thing that could happen, but it’s the best we have right now. I don’t think it has anything to do with India, England, or Australia playing less. Instead, I think it has to do with trying to get the other countries to play better.”
“Hopefully at least in a cycle, play a three-match series. It might be something to look into that you have to play a 3-match series to try and make it a little bit more consistent,” Taylor added.
Taylor thought that one way to even out the number of games played by each team would be to have teams other than the “Big Three” play more three-game series. Even New Zealand, which won the first cycle, usually only plays two Tests at home.
“There’s always going to be the Ashes series and different teams playing more. If we can get smaller nations playing three-match series more often than not, there’s a lot of white-ball cricket being played so it is tough to fit it in but if we can have a minimum of some sort, that you have to play at least one or two three-match series against anyone. At the end of the day it is the format, and that’s the thing we’re working with.
“I think it is just about a few little tweaks here and there. When you have a competition and a championship like this, there are going to be things that need to be worked on but I think it is making Test cricket more relevant and adding context to the games and hopefully this can be something that kids that are watching and wanting to play T20 can still play the purest form of the sport,” Taylor added, explaining how the WTC has now added a new dimension to Test cricket.
“Quite often if you win the first match of a series or go 2-0 up, first and foremost you’re just trying to win the series. But now with the added bonus of obviously getting as many points as possible and trying to get to the final, it’s added a new dimension to Test cricket,” Taylor said.
“It gives a different talking point as well. Right until that last series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, there was still a team able to win away from home to make the final. It’s been a great format for Test cricket, but like anything, there’s room to improve.”