India retained its second spot in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) points table after its thrilling three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second Test in Mirpur on Sunday.
An unbeaten 71-run partnership between Shreyas Iyer (29*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (42*) for the eighth wicket helped India chase down a tricky 145-run total.
With the 2-0 series win, India bettered its points percentage (PCT) to 58.92, ahead of South Africa (55.76) and Sri Lanka (54.55) in the WTC 2021-23 cycle that ends in March 2023. Australia leads the standings with its supreme PCT of 76.92.
India’s chances will still heavily revolve around the result of the ongoing Australia-South Africa three-match Test series and the remainder of South Africa’s individual campaign. Australia, which recently beat West Indies 2-0 and South Africa in the first Test at home, is all but through to the final.
India has four Tests remaining – against Australia at home from February. South Africa, which is currently second on the standings, also has four Tests remaining – two away against Australia and two at home against West Indies.
The second spot in the final is most likely a shootout between India and South Africa – both requiring at least three wins in its remaining matches to remain in the hunt. Here is a look at the qualification scenarios
WTC FINAL QUALIFICATION SCENARIOS FOR INDIA AND SOUTH AFRICA
If India beats Australia 4-0 – India finishes with PCT of 68.05. South Africa cannot qualify even if it all four of its remaining matches, finishing at a PCT of 66.66.
If India beats Australia 3-0 – India finishes with PCT of 64.35. South Africa can only qualify with four wins in its remaining four matches, with a PCT of 66.66.
If India beats Australia 3-1 – India finishes with a PCT of 62.5. South Africa can only qualify with four wins in its remaining four matches, with a PCT of 66.66.
CAN ENGLAND, PAKISTAN, SRI LANKA, NEW ZEALAND AND WEST INDIES STILL QUALIFY FOR WTC FINAL?
England has finished its WTC 2021-21 campaign with a PCT of 46.97 after 21 Tests. It is mathematically out of the race for the WTC final.
Pakistan can finish at best with a PCT of 47.61 with wins in its remaining two Tests against New Zealand.
Sri Lanka has the best chance to pip India and South Africa, should they suffer slip-ups in their remaining games. Sri Lanka can finish at a PCT of 61.11 with wins in its remaining two Tests against New Zealand.
New Zealand can only finish at a best PCT of 50 with wins in its remaining four matches.
West Indies can finish at a PCT of 50 with wins in its remaining two Tests against South Africa.