ICC reveals how World Test Championship finalists would be decided
First Published 15, Nov 2020, 7:43 PM
The ongoing edition of the ICC World Test Championship is the inaugural edition. India are currently the leaders of the table. This happens to be the first-ever global competition of the longest format of the game, which runs fro a period of two years, along with a final.
Global cricket has taken a hit owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, a number of cricketing tournaments, along with the ICC World T20 and the ongoing ICC World Test Championship, have been delayed.
With numerous Test series being postponed or cancelled, the International Cricket Council (ICC) was in a dilemma, whether the ongoing WTC would still go ahead or be cancelled for this term. Nonetheless, the ICC has come up with a solution.
Ahead of the ICC's Annual General Metting (AGM) on Monday, the governing body has decided that the finalists for the tournament would be decided based on the percentage of points the sides have earned in the matches that they have featured in. While there was another option of treating the non-played Tests as draws and splitting the points, it was later ruled out, reports ESPNCricinfo.
Meanwhile, this would not significantly affect the chances of the teams who have already played their games. Furthermore, this puts New Zealand in a good spot, as in case they manage to attain a maximum of 240 points, it could actually put them ahead of currently third-placed England.
It would eventually come down to India, who are scheduled to play Australia and England in their two remaining series of the competition, while the latter could also play their series against Sri Lanka sometime soon. Nonetheless, it is only India who have the best chance of completing their entire quota of the stipulated series.
Earlier, it was also suggested that instead of the top-two playing the final directly, semis could have been viable. However, with already a cramped calendar ahead, the idea was scrapped.
Besides, with the focus mostly being on T20Is, ahead of the ICC World T20 in India next year, the members are not really keen on rescheduling the affected Test series. As of now, the WTC final is scheduled to be played in Lord's, around June-July next year.
Judging the scenarios based on the points percentage system, it is Australia who lead the table, with 82.22%, followed by India (75%), England (60.83%) and New Zealand (50%). Moreover, if Australia win all four Tests against India, they remain on top with 86.67%, while losing all the three in the following series against South Africa would drop them to 69.33%.
As for India, if they lose all to Australia and win their five Tests against England, they will be on 66.67%. Meanwhile, just a loss against Australia would see them on 70.83%, as they would be marginally ahead of the Kiwis maximum score. If India lose 0-2 against Australia and win 5-0 against England, they would be at 69.44%. Therefore, India more or less have to ensure a series win in Australia, along with a clean sweep against England, besides hoping for New Zealand to lose some.