India vs New Zealand: Test cricket is the heartbeat of the game, says Virat Kohli after loss in WTC final

Virat Kohli
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Virat Kohli

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India vs New Zealand: India captain Virat Kohli said that Test cricket is the "heartbeat" of the game following his team's loss to New Zealand in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) on Wednesday.

India vs New Zealand: India captain Virat Kohli said that Test cricket is the "heartbeat" of the game following his team's loss to New Zealand in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) on Wednesday.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor led New Zealand to successfully chase down India's target of 139 to win the final by eight wickets at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton. Williamson remained unbeaten on 52 off 89, while Taylor hit the winning runs as he finished with 47 not out off 100 balls.

While it was the current BlackCaps squad's first ICC trophy, overall, it was New Zealand's second ICC title. Co-incidentally, they had defeated India to clinch their maiden ICC trophy in 2000.

Meanwhile, Kohli's wait of winning his first ICC trophy as India captain continues. As a player, he has won two ICC trophies: the 2013 Champions Trophy and 2011 Cricket World Cup. He also has an Under-19 World Cup win on his CV (2008).

Speaking during the post-match presentation at the Rose Bowl, Kohli congratulated New Zealand for pulling off a result despite two days of the play getting washed out by rain.

"First up, a big congratulations to Kane and his team. They've shown great consistency and heart, and pull off a result in three days. They put us under pressure throughout the Test and did extremely well to win. It was difficult to get momentum on Day 2, and we did really well with the ball in the first innings.

This morning was the difference where their bowlers executed their plans to perfection and didn't give us scoring opportunities. We were 30-40 short of giving them a good target. I don't regret announcing my XI beforehand, because you need an all-rounder in the side but we made a unanimous decision that these are the best XI we can take into the park," said Kohli.

The Indian skipper went on to praise his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate Kyle Jamieson, who was awarded the Player of the Match in the WTC final for picking up seven wickets in the game, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

"Jamieson is coming up nicely in international cricket - good areas with the ball, and he can bat quite well too. He's had a great game and he deserves the man of the match award. It's great for the game (WTC) and the more Test cricket is given importance, the better it will be for international cricket. It's a great move by ICC. Test cricket is the heartbeat of the game. It's a long summer ahead and we are really looking forward to the next series (Tests against England)," added Kohli.

India next take on England in a five-match Test series, which will be their first assignment of the 2021-23 WTC cycle. The matches will be played at Trent Bridge (Nottingham), Lord's (London), Headingley (Leeds), Kennington Oval (London), and Old Trafford (Manchester).

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