Rohit Sharma and Co consolidated their second place on the ICC World Test Championships standings with a big win against table-toppers Australia.

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took five wickets as India outplayed Australia by an innings and 132 runs inside three days of the opening Test on Saturday.

The hosts took a commanding first-innings lead of 223 in Nagpur and then bowled out Australia for 91 in the second session to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

The current cycle runs from July 2021 to June 2023 and comprises the top nine Test teams, all of whom will play six series each - three at home and three away. The top two teams will compete in the final, now confirmed to be at the Oval.

There is no reason for Australia to panic just yet because all they need realistically is a draw from the four matches to make sure they book their place in the final. India will need a 3-1 or 4-0 win to confirm their place too without depending on other results.

South Africa and Sri Lanka are the rank outsiders at the moment as they will likely need to win 2-0 in their series against West Indies and in New Zealand, respectively and hope other results pan out their way.

WTC standings after Nagpur Test

AUSTRALIA 70.83 136 10-2-4 6 0
INDIA 61.67 111 9-4-2 6 -5
SRI LANKA 53.33 64 5-4-1 5 0
SOUTH AFRICA 48.72 76 6-6-1 5 0
ENGLAND 46.97 124 10-8-4 6 -12
WEST INDIES 40.91 54 4-5-2 5 -2
PAKISTAN 38.1 64 4-6-4 6 0
NEW ZEALAND 27.27 36 2-6-3 5 0
BANGLADESH 11.11 16 1-10-1 6 0
PCT (%): Percentage L: Number of matches lost SER: Number of series played PTS: Number of points awarded D: Number of matches drawn PEN: Number of penalty overs W: Number of matches won

As a result of India’s win, the number of teams that can mathematically qualify for the World Test Championship Final now becomes four. England and the West Indies drop out of contention, no longer able to reach the percentage required to break into the top two.

Among the two other remaining contenders besides Australia and India, Sri Lanka are the next placed team in the standings on 53.33%, and they have their sights firmly set on their series in New Zealand next month, where they will need to win both encounters to stand a chance of featuring in June’s contest.

South Africa sit in fourth, yet their 48.72% sees them needing not only a whitewash victory over the visiting West Indies, but favourable results elsewhere to give them any hope of taking to the field on 7 June.

Attention now turns to the next fixture in the World Test Championship calendar, the second India-Australia Test where there is still everything to play for. Another victory for India would see them all but ensure their qualification, while Australia only need to avoid defeat to confirm their place in the final at The Oval on 7 June.

Remaining ICC World Test Championship Fixtures

India v Australia (2nd Test) – Delhi, India, 17-21 February
South Africa v West Indies (1st Test) – Centurion, South Africa, 28 February-4 March
India v Australia (3rd Test) – Dharamsala, India, 1-5 March
South Africa v West Indies (2nd Test) – Johannesburg, South Africa, 8-12 March
New Zealand v Sri Lanka (1st Test) – Christchurch, New Zealand, 9-13 March
India v Australia (4th Test) – Ahmedabad, India, 9-13 March
New Zealand v Sri Lanka (2nd Test) – Wellington, New Zealand, 17-21 March