After the postponement of the South Africa-Australia Test series, New Zealand were confirmed as one of the finalists of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, leaving one spot up for grabs for all of India, England and Australia.
New Zealand are currently No.2 in the ICC World Test Championship standings, having played all their league matches in the tournament. India are currently at the top spot with a PCT of 71.7 per cent, following their 2-1 series triumph in Australia.
That series result left Australia at No.3, with 69.2 per cent, followed by England with 68.7 per cent, after their 2-0 win in Sri Lanka. All three teams stand a chance of making the much-coveted final spot.
Which of them makes that final spot will depend on how the upcoming series progresses between India and England. Below are the qualification scenarios for the final leg of the ICC World Test Championship.
Remaining matches: Four home Tests against England
With the highest PCT, India are sitting pretty at the top of the WTC standings. To make it to the final of the tournament however, they will have to win with a minimum margin of 2-0 against England. The requirement will remain the same even if they lose a Test in the series.
These are the series scorelines that will see India qualifying for the final: 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, 3-1, 4-0. Any other result, however, and India will not make it through.
All to play for in the upcoming India v England series with three teams able to meet New Zealand in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship!— ICC (@ICC) February 2, 2021
Here's the breakdown, assuming a full 4-Test series with no ties and no further matches involving NZ or Australia 👇 #WTC21 pic.twitter.com/TTZFkPd1Ex
With the postponement of their proposed tour of South Africa, Australia's fate will depend on other results, although there are quite a few permutations and combinations that will see them make the final.
Australia can make the final if:
- England win by 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2
- India win by 1-0
- The series ends in a draw
Remaining matches: Four Tests in India
England have a tall task ahead of them, if they are to make the final of the WTC. A series victory is a necessity for them to make it through, but even that might prove insufficient.
England will need to win at least three matches in the four-Test series to make it through, and meet New Zealand in the final. In essence, that would mean a series victory by the margin of 0-4, 0-3 or 1-3.