World Test Championship (WTC) has reignited the passion of Test cricket among the fans of the game. The race to the finale has well and truly heated up. Teams are trying their level best to qualify for the final which is scheduled to take place in Lords, England in June 2021.
How does the WTC points table look currently?
England currently lead the points table after their outstanding win against India in the first Test in Chennai. They have the highest PCT (points earned/points available) of 70.2 amongst all teams.
Which team has qualified for the finals?
New Zealand is the only team that has qualified for the finals already. They have a PCT of 70. As New Zealand doesn’t have any matches remaining their PCT won’t change and hence they have booked a spot in the finals.
Which other teams can qualify? What are the qualification scenarios?
There are majorly 3 teams in contention for the final spot in WTC. Let us look at their qualifying scenarios:
England were in with an outside chance of making the WTC finals before their series against India started. But now having beaten India in the first Test, their chances of qualifying have increased. If England manages to beat India by a margin of 3-1, 3-0, or 4-0 then they will play New Zealand in the finals at Lords in June 2021.
India were at the top of the table after their historic series win against Australia in Brisbane. They had a PCT of 71.2% which was the highest among all the teams. But their shock defeat to England in the first Test has seen them slip to the fourth spot in the points table with a PCT of 68.3. For India to qualify, they will have to beat England by a margin of 3-1 or 2-1. Anything less than this will mean India getting knocked out from the race.
Australia’s fate is no longer under their control and that makes them the least favourite team among others to qualify for the finals. They will be hoping that India and England play out a drawn series (2-2, 1-1) or England beat India by (1-0,2-1 or 2-0) margin.
Other teams like Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have already been ruled out of the championship.
One factor both England and India need to be careful about:
Slow-over rates may cost both India and England valuable points. Australia were cut off 4 points owing to their slow-over rate in Sydney. This may prove to be decisive in the end in case of a tie in standings.
StumpsandBails Final Verdict:
It will be a close call between England and India to make the finals, but India playing at home will surely be the favourites to win against England by a fair margin and make the WTC final.