As teams such as Bangladesh continue to source their competitive spirit for reasons other than qualifying at the end stages of the first ICC World Test Championship, a points revision could well bring about a more equitable distribution of points on the basis of merit.

At the end of the home series against South Africa, Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, touched upon the fact that he would have liked to have seen overseas Test wins awarded greater points. It is not hard to see the Indian skipper’s motivations given that less than a year ago, India pulled off their first major Test series win in Australia in seven decades. With the goal of changing India’s otherwise abysmal away series records, naturally Kohli would see a greater impetus to push his team on foreign tours with the added points on offer.

However, Kohli is not alone in stating that angst. In fact it was one of the issues raised when the points system was revealed to the public. With each Test win garnering points but no additional bonus points for a series win, it seemed that the ICC World Test championship had missed a beat. With every team continuing to favour its own home advantage matches, the need for self-preservation becomes predominant instead of daring to win abroad.

With more and more Tests increasingly becoming a case of players playing well in home conditions but not putting in the yards necessarily when it comes to playing abroad – overloaded schedule being one of the factors to blame, overlooking the idea of rewarding teams for winning away from home is an obvious miss.

The early days of the inaugural ICC World Test championship have revealed yet another loophole. With the Future Tours Programme (FTP) being unequal between teams in the sense that the decisions of the individual cricket boards had approved each team’s itinerary in the cycle, there were going to be some teams being tested to the mettle with stiffer challenges whereas some teams the beneficiary of unevenly matches contests as the one between India and Bangladesh is expected to be.

In such a situation, the ICC World Test championship points system could have been a more complicated but fairer system if it acknowledged and rewarded lower ranked teams for beating a top ranked team. With the system currently rewarding every team for a Test win, there is little differentiation between the quality of the opposition or the venue of the competition which are factors that determine the outcome of a Test match contest.

In the absence of such crucial demarcation, there is a sense of a flat rate for all teams but also, a lack of depth and substance to the nature of the contests being waged.

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