New Zealand cricket team, on February 2, became the first team to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final (WTC), to be played between June 18-22 at Lord's cricket ground in London, after Australia's tour of South Africa was postponed due to ‘unacceptable risk’ caused by the pandemic in South Africa. A postponement had effectively put Australia's chances of qualification in jeopardy, and a defeat for England in the final Test hammered the last nail in their coffin.

How can India qualify for World Test Championship final?

India finished the pink ball da-night Test match in just two days to register a thumping 10-wicket win over England, on February 25, and take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. After suffering a 227-run defeat against England in the first Test of the series in Chennai, Virat Kohli's men had done brilliantly to win the second Test by 317 runs.

Consecutive wins took India the Indian cricket team to the top of the WTC points table and a win in the fourth Test was just the icing on the cake. Dominating England with both bat and the ball, India conquered the series 4-1 to qualify for the World Test Championship Final where they will face New Zealand.

How can England qualify for World Test Championship final?

After the Joe Root-led England team lost their second consecutive Test match in India, they are now out of contention for the World Test Championship final. Their only chance to qualify for the WTC final was to beat India 3-1 in the series, which is now not impossible. A defeat in the final Test in Ahmedabad's Motera Stadium means neither England nor Australia can make it to the final.

How can Australia qualify for World Test Championship final?

Australia have no Test action coming up until June, and chances of them making it to the finals were bleak before the fourth Test. Bleak, however, didn't mean they were out of the contention altogether. They had already suffered loss of four points due to their slow over-rate against India in the Boxing Day Test, and that came back to haunt them.

For Australia, all they needed was to hope England could somehow manage to tie the series. Failure means Australia are out of the World Test Championship as well

WTC points table

Team Series Played Series Won Matches Played Matches Won Points PCT
India 6 4 17 12 520 72.2
New Zealand 5 3 11 7 420 70.0
Australia 4 2 14 8 332 69.2
England 6 4 21 11 442 61.4
Pakistan 5.5 3 12 4 286 43.3
West Indies 4 1 9 3 160 33.3
South Africa 4 1 11 3 144 30.0
Sri Lanka 4 0 8 1 40 16.7
Bangladesh 2.5 0 3 0 0 0

(*) indicates the ongoing series.

PCT: Percentage of points won out of the total number of points contested by each team

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Patrick Hamilton