The first cycle of the inaugural ICC Test championship [2019-2021] is beginning to heat up with every game having bearing on the overall makeup of the points table. Each side is playing a maximum of six series- three home and three away- where a total of 120 points are up for grabs irrespective of the length of the rubber.
For the longest period of time, India looked prime at solidifying their numero-uno spot after they registered seven back-to-back victories to earn 360 points. But, just as it was looking that Virat Kohli‘s men would run away with the No.1 spot, Team India suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of the Kiwis to not only give the latter crucial 120 points but their defeat has also opened up an opportunity for other sides’ like England to harbour hopes of leapfrogging India from the numero-uno spot.
Joe Root reacts to India’s defeat in New Zealand
Reacting on India’s 0-2 defeat to New Zealand, English skipper Joe Root reckoned that it has open up a massive opportunity for other sides to finish in the top-2 and his side will certainly target that. England is currently ranked fourth in the championship table with 146 points after having won five of their nine Tests, including a 3-1 win over South Africa.
England will now travel to Sri Lanka where they will play a couple of Championship matches, post which they will host West Indies and Pakistan for three Tests each in their home season. England’s last assignment, as far as the current cycle is concerned, will be a five-match Test series in India in January 2021.
And, considering the magnanimity of the odds as far as beating India on their home turf is concerned, Root’s men will be looking to gain as many points as possible in the upcoming eight Tests against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies.
The last time England travelled to Sri Lanka, the ‘Three Lions’ created history when they whitewashed the island nation of 3-0; something Root and his team will be looking to emulate. England will play a couple of practice matches against the Boards President XI before the first Test gets underway in Galle from March 29th.
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