NEW DELHI: With Australia pulling out of their South Africa tour, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the inaugural World Test Championship final – set to be played from June 18 to 22 at Lord’s. Australia, however, isn’t out of the race yet.
The upcoming India-England four-match Test series will decide which team joins New Zealand in the final – India, England or Australia. All will depend on the scoreline of the series.
Here are the possible scenarios for each team in order to enter the final:
To set things straight, first let’s go through the current status as on February 2, 2021.
Australia (69.17%) are marginally behind New Zealand (70%) on the points table at this stage and won’t get the opportunity to go past the Kiwis. India (71.70%) and England (68.67%) play each other and only one of them can exceed New Zealand’s percentage points after the series between the two teams. That’s why New Zealand is through.
For India to qualify:
The series between India and England is of four Tests where a win would fetch 30 points, a draw 10 points, and tie 15 points. India need to win at least two matches and draw one out of the remaining two, if they are to progress to the final. The scorelines of the series against England that will favour Virat Kohli and Co. are: 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, 3-1, 4-0.
For England to qualify:
A win or two against the Indian team won’t do it for England. Joe Root and his boys will need to win outrightly at least three matches. The scorelines against India that will favour England are: 0-3, 1-3, 0-4.
For Australia to qualify:
The best Tim Paine and Co. would be hoping is for the India-England series to end in a draw by any margin. However, even if one team emerges victorious, Australia would want India not to win by a margin higher than 1-0 or England winning not more than two Tests.
The scorelines that will favour the Aussies are: 0-0, 1-1 or 2-2 draw; a 0-1, 0-2 or 1-2 England win; or a 1-0 India win.
Australia could have been assured a final spot by now, if not for their own recklessness.
Had the Australian team not lost four points for slow over-rate in the recent Boxing Day Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, they could have been tied on percentage points with New Zealand at 70.00% and could have progressed thanks to their superior runs-per-wicket ratio (1.39 to 1.28) over their trans-Tasman neighbours.