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Virat Kohli calls for double points for away Test winners


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India cricket skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday called for a change in the points system for the new world Test championship, saying that an away win should get double the reward.

He insisted that the new championship has already improved standards in Tests.

“If you would have asked me to make the points table, I would give double the points for an away Test win,” Kohli said in Pune ahead of his side’s second Test against South Africa.

He said the change could be made for the second tournament. The first championship that started on 1 August will see the nine top nations competing in series over two years. The top two teams in the league will dispute a final.

According to Kohli, the new championship format has given Test cricket a shot in the arm.

“In earlier situations, in a three-match series you probably would have played out a draw, but teams are going to go for wins and get those extra points. So I think it’s great for Test cricket,” he said.

“It will be much more demanding on the players now, which is a good thing as it will keep the standard of Test cricket high.”

Kohli also hailed the turnaround by his new batting and bowling heroes Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami in the South Africa series.

Sharma hit 176 and 127 in his first outing as Test opener, playing a key role in India’s first Test win alongside his five-wicket haul in the final innings.

The 32-year-old “is feeling absolutely at home at the top of the order and for us, as a team, it’s a huge bonus”, Kohli said.

He added that Sharma had speeded up the first Test to give the bowlers more time to attack the South African batsmen.

“If a guy like him at the top of the order plays the way he does, he did in the last game, then we are going to be in situations to go for victories in most of the Test matches.”

Shami took 5-35 as India bowled out the tourists for 191 to complete victory.

The 29-year-old, who has struggled with his weight, injury and personal legal issues, also claimed a hat-trick in the World Cup.

“Now, he is taking responsibility. We don’t need to push Shami anymore,” said Kohli, who added that the bowler was a master of reverse swing.

“I think on the pitches we play, I don’t see anyone with so much seam movement.”

Shami took three key wickets on the final day of the Test, including South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis for 13, to hit the tourists’ resistance.

“He is someone who can change the complexion of the match totally when you don’t see it coming. His skill is obviously there for everyone to see,” said Kohli.

“Especially, in the second innings, when the situations are difficult he comes in and does the job every time. It’s great.”

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