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Jos Buttler and Dom Sibley celebrate the win of second test
World Test Championship

Scenarios: All to play for in the ICC World Test Championship

WTC21

The top four - India, New Zealand, Australia and England - in the ICC World Test Championship are separated by just 3 percentage points as the race for the final goes down to the wire.

England closed in on the top three with a 2-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka. The nine-team table is led by India with 71.7%, ahead of New Zealand's 70%, Australia's 69.2% and England's 68.7%. In November, the ICC had announced that the points system for the World Test Championship would be remodelled due to the disruption caused to the regular calendar by COVID-19, with teams being ranked by percentage of points earned (PCT).

Latest ICC WTC standings
Latest ICC WTC standings

Below are some qualification scenarios for reaching the final of the World Test Championships:

India – 71.7%

Remaining matches: Four-Test home series against England

To cement their place in the final, India will need to win their upcoming four-match home series against England by at least a two-match margin. If they lose one Test, then they will need to win three games (4-0, 3-0, 3-1 or 2-0), whereas a 0-3 or 0-4 loss against England will wipe away their chances of making the final regardless of other results.

New Zealand – 70.0%

Remaining matches: None

The equation for New Zealand is simple; as they may not have more engagements (their home series against Bangladesh is not confirmed). New Zealand will remain on 70.0%, having claimed 420 points from a possible 600. Therefore, they need no more than one other team to finish with more than 70.0% of points earned.

For instance, a combination of England winning all their remaining matches and South Africa winning by a 3-0 or 2-0 margin against Australia would end New Zealand’s chances of making the final.

Australia – 69.2%

Remaining matches: Three Tests in South Africa (TBC)

Australia have slipped to third place with 69.2% points after their loss in the final Test against India in Brisbane. To secure a place in the final, Australia will have to win at least two Tests of the yet to be confirmed three-match series against South Africa and avoid any losses. On the other hand, a home series win by South Africa will end Australia’s chances of making the final. Any other results require a favourable combination of series results not featuring Australia.

England – 68.7%

Remaining matches: Four Tests in India

Fourth-placed England's best chance of reaching the final is to win the four-match series against India by a 3-0 or 4-0 margin. Any other results require a favourable combination of series results not featuring England.

South Africa – 40.0%

Remaining matches: Two Tests in Pakistan, Three-Test home series against Australia (TBC)

After England's series win in Sri Lanka, South Africa's hopes of making the final have ended.

The remaining teams – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Bangladesh – will not be able to reach the final even if they win all their remaining fixtures.

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