India’s ICC WTC final qualification chances were dealt a blow as Australia recorded a nine-wicket win in their third Border-Gavaskar Test at Indore on Friday.
Humiliated in Indore, an outright victory in Ahmedabad will seal India’s place in the World Test Championship final against Australia, but if Rohit Sharma’s side loses or draw, their fate will depend on the outcome of the Sri Lanka series -New Zealand.
Australia has already qualified for the grand final at The Oval from June 7-11 thanks to their nine-wicket win at Indore.
Australia leads the WTC table with 68.52 percentage points (PCT). Percentage points are calculated when the points won by a team are divided by the points played.
A team earns 12 points for a win, four for a draw, and six for a draw.
At the moment, Australia has 148 points from 11 wins and four draws from 18 games. They play for 216 points offered and have a PCT of 68.52. Even if Australia lost the fourth and final Test against India, they would remain on top with 64.91 PCT (148/228 × 100).
Australia, led by Steve Smith in the absence of regular captain Pat Cummins, qualified for the WTC Finals with their 11th win in 18 games in the 2021-23 championship cycle.
Meanwhile, India’s points percentage (PCT) fell from 64.06 to 60.29, with its fifth defeat in 17 matches in the 2021-23 WTC cycle.
India’s WTC Qualifying Scenarios: India now needs to win their final match of the series to qualify for the final without depending on Sri Lanka’s results – the only other team still in contention for the summit meeting in June at The Oval in England.
A win in Ahmedabad allows Rohit Sharma’s men to finish with a PCT of 62.5. That will be enough to stave off the threat from Sri Lanka, who could achieve the best possible PCT of 61.11 on their tour of New Zealand, which begins March 9.
Best possible finish for India: defeated Australia 3-1, finished with 135 points and a PCT of 62.5.
Worst possible finish for India: draw with Australia 2-2, finish with 123 points, and a PCT of 56.94.
How could India fail to qualify for the WTC final?
If India concedes a 2-2 or 2-1 finish to Australia, they can finish with a maximum of 127 points and a PCT of 58.79. In this scenario, Sri Lanka can beat India and join Australia in the final if they beat New Zealand 2-0 and finish with a PCT of 61.11.
What is happening to India
India’s PCT stands at 60.29 points after scoring 123 points in 17 competitions (10 wins and 2 draws) so far. India lost some points throughout this cycle due to the interest rate slowdown.
If India wins the final test, their PCT rises to 62.5 with 135 points from a maximum of 216 offered (18 tests). They then keep their second place and qualify for the final.
However, in a defeat, India’s PCT drops to 56.94 and then depends on the outcome of Sri Lanka’s away game against New Zealand.
In case of a tie, India’s PCT drops to 58.79 and then it is still a matter of waiting for the result of the Sri Lanka-New Zealand series.
The same goes for the case of a tie where India’s PCT will be 59.72.
How can Sri Lanka qualify
Sri Lanka’s only chance of qualifying hinges on a 2-0 win in New Zealand, one of the toughest away games for subcontinent teams.
Sri Lanka’s current PCT is 53.33 with 64 points out of 120 (10 tests).
If India loses, draws, or draws the final test and Sri Lanka wins the series 2-0, their PCT will be 61.11 with 88 points out of a maximum of 144 points on the line. But if Sri Lanka draws at least one match and wins 1-0, their maximum PCT will be 55.55, which will be lower than India’s (56.94) even if they lose the final Test.