Note: This article has been updated at the end of India’s win in the third Test against England in Ahmedabad.
The ICC World Test Championship final scheduled to be played in England in June 2021 will feature either India or Australia after England’s defeat in the third Test in Ahmedabad.
After Australia’s tour of South Africa was officially postponed, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand are assured to be in summit clash. Assuming that Australia’s Test series against South Africa cannot be played before the scheduled date for the WTC final, New Zealand have earned their place in the final with a score of 70%.
The World Test Championship final to be held in England from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day, the ICC confirmed earlier.
The inaugural Test Championship sees teams ranked based on percentage of points earned from their series after the disruption caused due to Covid-19. The top two sides at the end of the league on percentage points will contest the final and the hosts are now out of contention. Each series of the league is worth 120 points, distributed evenly over the number of matches in a series, ranging from 60 for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series.
The international governing body had to change the competition terms for the event to determine how series affected by the global pandemic are accounted for on the points table.
The highly-anticipated India-England series was set to witness numerous possibilities in terms of deciding who reaches the final, with Australia still not ruled out either. But with India leading 2-1, it now comes down to Australia or Virat Kohli’s men.
Here’s how the table stands as of 25 February, 2021.
For Australia to qualify:
- In what is bound to rankle the Aussie supporters even more, the side would have been assured qualification by now if four points were not docked for them because of a slow over-rate against India in the Boxing Day Test (Tally down to 332 instead of 336). According to ESPNCricinfo, Australia would have edged out New Zealand on runs-per-wicket ratio with neither side playing any more matches as things stand.
- The following scorelines in the India-England series was needed for Tim Paine’s men to qualify for the title clash: 0-0, 1-1 or 2-2 draw; a 0-1, 0-2 or 1-2 England win; or a 1-0 India win.
- As a result, in the final Test, England must win against India for Australia to reach final
For India to qualify:
- After their historic, scarcely believable series win in Australia, India made things easier for themselves to qualify for the final. The team were top of the WTC points table ahead of the Test series against England. But made life harder by losing the first Test in Chennai.
- India needed to win at least two matches and avoid another defeat after that.
- After their win in the day-night Test, India now need to win or draw in the final Test of the series against England.
New Zealand are currently ranked second on the ICC WTC table with a points percentage of 70%, which has secured them a place in the final.
Note: The above scenarios do not consider the possibilities of a tied Test match or possible points deduction for over-rate offences during India vs England.