Race to WTC Finals: A tough job for India but a change is quite possible

On Tuesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) asked all Test-playing nations what they need to do to secure a WTC final spot, and India is looking at an uphill task. Winning only four of their first nine matches in the cycle, losing three points due to over-rate violations, and seeing Virat Kohli hand in his resignation, India’s debut for WTC23 has left much to be desired.

The team got their campaign back on track with a clean sweep to Sri Lanka, and are expected to charge late with the tag of favorites in their last six matches. He is currently at 52.08 per cent of the probable marks.

India are runners-up from the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship in 2021, having lost the final to New Zealand in England.

Rohit Sharma’s side should be very strong even for neighbors Bangladesh away from home and history is on his side when Australia tour for the four-match Border Gavaskar series early next year. Should they manage the maximum points, a mouth-watering India-Pakistan WTC final scenario is a strong possibility.

Meanwhile, after solid performances against South Africa, India and Bangladesh, the WTC continues to top the standings.

The ICC has assessed the chances of nine Test playing nations securing WTC final berths:

1.South Africa – 71.43 percent of possible points – Series remaining: England (away, three Tests), West Indies (home, two Tests), Australia (away, three Tests).

What they need to do: Tough away series for England and Australia face South Africa, though the side has the firepower to push both, provided their batting can match their bowling attack. Coming from behind to claim a famous series win over India at home shows a resilient side for Dean Elgar’s team.

2. Australia – 70 percent of possible scores. Remaining series – West Indies (at home, two test), South Africa (at home, three test), India (outside, four test).

What they have to do: Put a home point in the bank. Pat Cummins’s team has missed out on their first WTC final and is in no mood to give up easy points. Initially making the most of home advantage, and claiming Test victories away from home in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the team welcomed West Indies and South Africa at home for a total of five Tests. Australia’s biggest hurdle in the final, however, remains India. Faced with Rohit Sharma’s side in the subcontinent for four Test matches next year, where they have not won since 2004, the Aussies will need to avoid defeat on several occasions to finish above their opponents on the table. . Five home wins and four defeats take the Aussies to 63.16 per cent, a finishing percentage not enough to stop India, assuming Rohit’s side sweep Bangladesh already.

3. Sri Lanka – 53.33 percent of possible scores. Remaining series – New Zealand (away, two Tests).

What they want to do: Surprise New Zealand and hope the second series goes on. Had Sri Lanka been unbeaten at home to Australia and Pakistan, talks of their chances of a WTC23 final performance would have been more positive. Instead, inconsistent performances at home and short time to charge make the best of their chances and Dimuth Karunaratne’s side will ruin the missed opportunities. There is just one series left for Sri Lanka – New Zealand’s two-Test tour – where they have won just two Tests in 19 tries. The maximum points in New Zealand would take them to 61.1 per cent, meaning they would need help from further down the table to shake up the competition.

4. India – 52.08 percent of possible points.

5. Pakistan – 51.85 percent of possible scores. Remaining series – England (Home, 3 Tests), New Zealand (Home, 2 Tests)

What they need to do: At their best, Pakistan are at least a top three WTC team, although a couple of slips could deter Babar Azam’s side from a historic final appearance. In the first series between sides in Pakistan since 1998, the West Indies may have suffered a one-wicket defeat in their opening series, having been unable to hold on to a strong Australia. It’s not too late though. , with his remaining five Test matches at home against all out-of-field sides. Five wins would take them to 69.05 per cent, taking Australia and South Africa each other close to guaranteeing a one per cent final place.

6. West Indies – 50% of probable marks. Remaining series – South Africa (Two Tests away), Australia (Away, Two Tests).

What he needs to do: Scoring runs and creating history away from home. West Indies could end at 65.38 per cent, although all four matches would have to be won in tough conditions to seal an impossible place in the WTC23 final.

7. England – 33.33 percent of possible points. Remaining series – South Africa (Home, 3 Tests), Pakistan (Away, 3 Tests).

What they have to do: Prepare for the next cycle. While the team sees a different offer with a new coach and captain, it is too late for England to challenge for a place in the final. Losing seven of 16 Tests and deducting the equivalent of one win for multiple over-rate violations, the side would watch the final from home.

8. New Zealand – 25.93 percent of possible scores. Remaining series – Pakistan (Two Tests away), Sri Lanka (Home, Two Tests).

What they need to do: The defending World Test champions can only finish with a best percentage of 48.72 per cent, which is required to qualify for next year’s final.

9. Bangladesh – 13.33 percent of probable marks. Rest of the series – India (Home, 2 Tests)

What they have to do: Off the race, prepare for the next cycle. The team has so far not won a Test match at home in this competition, although surprised New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and is not created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-media

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