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WTC 2021-23: SA or India most likely to join Australia in the June finals; SL might spring surprise

World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23: South Africa or India most likely to join Australia in the June finals; Sri Lanka might spring surprise. Complete analysis on how India can still make it to WTC 2021023 finals.

India tour of Bangladesh, Tests, 2022-23: Shakib Al Hasan, KL Rahul posing with the trophy ahead of the first Test _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCB/BCCI/Twitter)
India will play two test matches against Bangladesh (Source: ©BCB/BCCI/Twitter)

Even though it isn't the IPL, an ODI or a T20 World Cup, the cricketing pundits should get their calculators out. It is for the test of the best, the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23. In a ranking of nine Test nations, only one can stand tall above the rest and claim the Test mace. The question that now arises is: which two teams can make it into the finals in the first place?


Understanding the WTC Points System

In contrast to regular mega events, the points system in the WTC is not as straightforward as one might have hoped. Rather, it is as complicated as Einstein’s theory of relativity. Well, it's relatively easy but still difficult for a layman to understand. Instead of the commonly used points system, WTC’s approach is a percentage method. i.e., any team which wins a match receives 12 points per match and 100 per cent of the points (PCT); a tie gives both teams six points, and thereby fifty pc of the points. But if there is a draw between the two teams, each team will share a total of 4 points and 33.33 percentage of points between them. A loss results in a self-explanatory zero points. Refer to the table below.


And over and above that, points will be docked for slow over rates (one point for each over bowled after the dedicated completion time slot). So irrespective of the number of wins or draws, the higher the percentage of points, the higher the team's ranking in the WTC charts.

Points Available Per Match

Percentage of Points

Win

12

100

Tie

6

50

Draw

4

33.33

Loss

0

0

*Teams will be ranked on percentage of points won

*For slow over rates, teams will lose one championship point for each over short of the stipulated time


3…2..1 Kaboom: Eliminated!

Let’s first talk about the teams that have already been eliminated from the race for glory. Bangladesh have played a total of nine matches, winning just one, and hence they stand at the bottom of the pile with 13.33 PCT. Hence, Bangladesh's march toward the final two WTC towers is understandably over.


New Zealand, the first WTC winners, have been the biggest disappointment in this WTC cycle, ranking eighth with 25.93 PCT after winning only two matches. New Zealand lost a total of six Test matches and hence find themselves out of the race to qualify for the WTC 2021-23 finals, which means a new champion will hold the Test mace this year.


Pakistan’s recent Test series loss to England by a margin of 0-2 (with 1 more match to go in their home series against the visitors) takes them back to Karachi Airport instead of Lord’s Stadium, as they are knocked out of the title race with 42.44 PCT, winning 4 and losing 5 matches in this cycle.


The ever-so-disappointing West Indies are also out of the race with just 40.91 PCT. The ever-energised and aggressive England 2.0 are also shown the door, courtesy of a terrible first half of this cycle where they lost seven, drew four and won just one game out of their 12 Tests. Even with the win against Pakistan and only one more game remaining, the maximum they can achieve is 46.91 PCT assuming they win the third Test against Pakistan.


Read More: BAN-A v IND-A, unofficial Tests: Saurabh & Mukesh emerge as top two wicket-takers in the series

Position

Team

PCT(%)

Points

W

L

D

No. of series

Penalty

1

Australia

75

108

8

1

3

4

0

2

South Africa

60

72

6

4

0

4

0

3

Sri Lanka

53.33

64

5

4

1

5

0

4

India

52.08

75

6

4

2

4

-5

5

England

44.44

112

9

8

4

6

-12

6

Pakistan

42.42

56

4

5

2

5

0