Cricket

Explained: The race to World Test Championship (WTC) final and how India can qualify

A total of six teams are in contention to take part in the World Test Championship final which will take place next year.

Explained: The race to World Test Championship (WTC) final and how India can qualify

India have a strong chance of reaching the World Test Championship final. AP

South Africa’s 2-1 series loss to England has not only dropped them to the second spot in the 2021-23 World Test Championship (WTC) table but blown the race for the final wide open. A total of six teams are in contention to take part in the summit clash which will take place next year.

We take a look at the chances of these six teams and the possible scenarios.

Australia: No 1 in table with 70% of possible points 

Remaining matches: West Indies (two home Tests), South Africa (three home Tests), India (four away Tests).

Australia became a beneficiary of South Africa’s series loss as they climbed to the top spot. The Aussies  still have nine matches to go but their biggest challenge will be the four-match away tour of India. If Australia win all five home Tests but lose all four in India, their win percentage will drop to 63.16. In such a scenario, India can leapfrog Australia by winning all six of their remaining Tests. Australia should try to win six of the upcoming matches which will take their win percentage to 68.42 and that should be enough to book a berth.

Read | World Test Championship: South Africa’s defeat opens up points table

South Africa: No 2 in table with 60% of possible points 

Remaining matches: Australia (three away Tests), West Indies (two home Tests).

South Africa are second in the table but have a tough road ahead. Even winning four out of their last five remaining Tests will only take their win percentage to 66.67 and there’s a possibility India and Pakistan can leapfrog them.

Sri Lanka: No 3 in table with 53.33% of possible points 

Remaining matches: New Zealand (two away Tests).

It’s not going to be easy for the Lankans to win away from home in New Zealand and even if they win both of their remaining matches, their win percentage will only go up to 61.11 and that may not be enough.

India: No 4 in table with 52.08% of possible points 

Remaining matches: Bangladesh (two away Tests), Australia (four home Tests).

Despite being in the fourth spot, India have a strong chance to qualify for their second straight final. If they win all of their next six matches, their win percentage will jump to 68.06 which will be more than that of Australia’s considering the Rohit Sharma-led side is playing four home Tests against the Aussies.

Pakistan: No 5 in table with 51.85% of possible points

Remaining matches: England (three home Tests), New Zealand (two home Tests).

With five home Tests to go, Babar Azam and Co have a strong chance of reaching the final. Win in all five matches will take their win percentage to 69.05, which should do for qualification. They will move to 61.9 by winning four matches and that could also prove to be enough if other teams lose their matches. If India and Pakistan both win their remaining matches we can witness an Indo-Pak final in WTC.

West Indies: No 6 in table with 50% of possible points

Remaining series: Australia (two away Tests), South Africa (two away Tests).

West Indies can go up to 65.38 win percentage but for that, they will have to win four away Tests in difficult conditions in Australia and South Africa.

England, New Zealand and Bangladesh are out of contention but these teams can play spoilsport for other sides. Bangladesh are scheduled to play India while England will take on Pakistan. New Zealand are set to face Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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Updated Date: September 13, 2022 14:29:24 IST

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