The World Test Championship cycle is approaching its final stages, and with it comes the question of which two teams will qualify for the final. Let’s take a look at the current scenario of the teams who are in with a shot at the glory.
To qualify for the WTC final, Australia, currently in the top spot on the points table with a score of 75%, will need to earn 20 points from their remaining seven Tests. This can be achieved with a win and two draws. India, currently in fourth place with 52.08% score, will need 44 points from their six remaining Tests, which can be earned with three wins and two draws. South Africa, currently in seventh place with a score of 60%, will need 28 points from their five remaining Tests, which can be earned with two wins and a draw, in order to surpass Pakistan. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, can secure a spot in the final with a 1-0 series win against New Zealand. It is likely that at least two of these teams will earn the points necessary to surpass Pakistan and qualify for the final.
Pakistan, unfortunately, has seen their chances of qualifying severely damaged by their recent defeats against England. With only three Tests left in the cycle, the best score they can earn is 54.76%, which is likely not enough to surpass the other teams vying for a spot in the final. As a result, it is unlikely that Pakistan will make it to the final.
New Zealand’s Chances
The WTC victory in 2021 was one of the biggest moments in the history of New Zealand sports. The defending champions are currently in 8th place on the points table with a PCT (points percentage) of 25.93. With two away Tests against Pakistan and two at home against Sri Lanka, it is unlikely that the New Zealand Cricket team will be able to reach a PCT of 48.72, which is the minimum requirement for a top-two finish.
In order to ensure qualification for the World Test Championship final, India will need to earn enough points in their remaining Tests. Currently sitting in fourth place on the points table, India can secure a spot in the final by winning all of their remaining six Tests – two against Bangladesh and four against Australia. This would raise their percentage to 68.06, which would likely be enough for a top-two finish. However, this will depend on the performance of the other teams in contention for a spot in the final.
If India can finish with a 5-1 win-loss record in their remaining Tests, their percentage will be 62.5, which will still likely be enough to secure qualification for the World Test Championship final. However, if they lose two Tests, their percentage will drop to 56.94, which could put their qualification in jeopardy. In this case, they would need a few other results to go their way.
Australia currently sits atop the points table for the WTC with 75% score, but they still have some work to do in order to secure qualification for the final. If they were to lose all of their remaining seven matches in the cycle, their percentage would drop to 47.37. However, Australia has the opportunity to secure qualification before their potentially difficult tour of India by winning all three home Tests against South Africa. This would give them a minimum percentage of 63.16, even if they were to lose all four Tests against India. This would ensure a top-two finish, as only India can finish with a higher percentage.
South Africa’s Chances:
South Africa currently sits in second place on the points table, with two series remaining – three Tests in Australia and two at home against West Indies. If they were to win their home Tests but lose all of their away Tests, their percentage would drop to 53.33. If South Africa wants to secure a spot in the final, they will need to earn at least one test win in Australia. A 1-2 series defeat followed by a 2-0 series win would lift their percentage to 60%, which would keep them in the running. However, their chances of qualification will ultimately depend on the performance of the other teams.