South Africa’s defeat to Australia in the second Test at Melbourne has provided a fillip to India’s chances of qualifying for its second consecutive World Test Championship (WTC) final.
The Proteas have slipped to the fourth spot with a PCT (percentage of points won) of 50 while Australia has consolidated its top spot with a PCT of 78.57. Meanwhile, India has risen to the second spot following its 2-0 series win against Bangladesh and is comfortable with a PCT of 58.93.
AUSTRALIA QUALIFICATION SCENARIO
Australia has five Tests remaining (one vs South Africa and four vs India). It can take its PCT to a maximum of 84.21 if it wins all of its five remaining matches. The Pat Cummins-led side is in such a strong position that even if it loses the four-match series against India 0-1 after beating South Africa in the third and final Test, it will top the standings with a PCT of 68.42. A 0-2 defeat against India will still hold Australia in good stead for making it to the finals with a PCT of 66.66.
INDIA QUALIFICATION SCENARIO
With four home Tests left against Australia, India can take its PCT tally to as much as 68.05. Even a 3-1 win against Australia will be enough as it will have a PCT of 62.5, higher than what South Africa and Sri Lanka can manage even if they win all their games. A 2-2 draw would also work for India (PCT 56.94), as South Africa would need to beat Australia in the third Test and sweep West Indies 2-0 at home (PCT 60.00) to upstage India. Sri Lanka would require a 2-0 win against New Zealand away to go past both South Africa and India with a PCT of 61.11.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER TEAMS
England has ended its campaign with a PCT of 46.97 and despite its recent resurgence in the longest format, it is out of the race for a spot in the WTC final for all practical purposes. West Indies can only manage to take its PCT to a maximum of 50.00, which will hardly be enough for it to secure a top-two spot. Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh are mathematically eliminated from the race to the WTC finals.
World Test Championship 2021-23 Points Table