Team India is about to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Champions (ICC WTC). The Rohit Sharma-led side must win the last tests in the ongoing series against Australia to seal their place in the final.
India has already taken an unassailable lead in the four-match series by winning the first two Tests. And while India is likely to win the last remaining games, there is always the possibility that things will not go as expected, especially after what happened in the ongoing Fourth test.
India suffered an unexplained collapse after Rohit Sharma won the coin toss and chose to bat first. The hosts were knocked out for just 109 in just over one session. Left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann went wild and took 5 for 16 while Nathan Lyon took 3 wickets.
Sri Lanka could become the underdog if they manage to surprise New Zealand. A look at what every team needs to progress.
Australia is already qualified into the final at The Oval, having lost just two test and one win in the current iteration of the WTC.
India has a tough job and faces a tough challenge against Australia at home. If Sri Lanka won both Tests in New Zealand, India would need to win at least three of the four Tests against Australia to avoid Sri Lanka’s 61.11%. But if Sri Lanka can only win one of the two games, India only needs a series win by a margin or a draw of 2-2. India will finish at 55.09% and South Africa can beat them if they beat West Indies 2-0 (55.56%) as well as Sri Lanka if they beat 2-0 (61.11%) or 1-0 ( 55.56%) winning in New Zealand.
Sri Lanka could become the underdog if they beat New Zealand 2-0. Defending WTC champion New Zealand is in poor form and has not won a series since beating India in Southampton in 2021. The way to be eliminated is if India beat Australia by a 3-0 or 3-1 margin. However, if they only manage to win 1-0, they can finish with just 55.56%, which can be surpassed by both Australia and India but also matched by South Africa.
Does another party have a chance?
The West Indies can reach 50% if they beat South Africa 2-0 away from home and then want India and Sri Lanka to drop points against Australia and New Zealand and finish below 50%. England has finished their matches and is 46.97% higher (lost 12 points on penalties) and have a chance to be eliminated if all of the following results occur: Australia beat India 4-0 (India finished 45.83%), West Indies beat South Africa 1-0 (West Indies finished with 44.87% and South Africa with 44.44%) and New Zealand beat Sri Lanka 2-0 (Sri Lanka finished with 38.46 %). Pakistan, Bangladesh, and New Zealand are all out.
And if India loses Last tests:
Although India is in a strong position to advance to the ICC WTC final, there is a slim chance that they will lose the final if they fail. So what happens if India loses both tests in the ongoing series?
Should the series end in 2-2, Sri Lanka will play a major role in determining India’s fate in the ongoing ICC WTC. At the moment, India, Australia, and Sri Lanka are in the race to reach the final of the ICC WTC. And while India and Australia are favorites to progress, Sri Lanka still has a chance.
Should the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series end in 2-2, India will have to rely on Sri Lanka’s two-game series against New Zealand. Islanders can end the current campaign with more than 60 pct.
Defeats in the last Tests against Australia would see India end the current ICC WTC cycle with a PCT of 56.94. On the other hand, Australia will finish with a PCT of 70.17 and secure its place in the final.
Sri Lanka can then overcome India to set up a match with Australia by winning both Tests against New Zealand. With a 2-0 win over New Zealand, Sri Lanka finishes with a PCT of 61.11. Sri Lanka will also be in contention if Australia loses its remaining two Tests. But either way, the Islanders need to win both Tests against New Zealand to have a realistic chance of reaching the final.