London, July 2: Coming to the defence of Virat Kohli, ace Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said the skipper only expressed his opinion that the WTC final should be a best of three series rather than a one-off Test but never demanded the format to be changed.
India were handed an eight-wicket defeat in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final by New Zealand in Southampton earlier this month. After the loss, Kohli had said that the best Test team in the world should be decided by a best-of-three final and not a one-off game like it was in the inaugural edition.
"I happened to hear people saying that Virat Kohli asked for three Tests to be played for the WTC final but it is ridiculous. After the match got over, (former England player and renowned cricket writer) Michael Atherton had asked what he could have done differently in the WTC.
"Virat replied in a particular context that if three matches are played, then adaptability and comeback for a team are possible. But he never demanded something," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. The Indian players, who were part of the WTC squad, are currently on a three-week break before they reassemble in the UK on July 14 for the five Tests against England beginning in Nottingham from August 4.
Ashwin feels this break is very important for the players. "We were in the bubble throughout. So, after a long time, we are able to get some fresh air and step out." Ashwin revealed that the Black Caps celebrated the WTC victory till midnight, adding that it was quite difficult to watch the celebrations.
"After the match, New Zealand have this custom of celebrating with the trophy and a few drinks in the dressing room. It was tough to see it. "I think it is the flip side of having a room above the ground. They celebrated until 12. They even arrived at the pitch, and it sounded like a war cry to express their happiness. It was quite upsetting to see as we couldn't make it," Ashwin said.