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World Test Championship

India seal World Test Championship final spot


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India have secured their place in the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval starting on June 7, after a thrilling last-ball win for New Zealand ended Sri Lanka's push for a top-two finish.

India's destructive start to their Test series at home against Australia means their worst possible WTC points percentage is now 57%, assuming there are no penalty points against them for a poor over rate in the fourth Test against Australia in Ahmedabad.

Sri Lanka were initially hampered by rain and then unable to bowl out New Zealand on day five of the first Test in Christchurch, meaning Dimuth Karunaratne's side can now finish with a best possible WTC points percentage of 53% even if they win the second Test.

Taking a 2-1 series lead in the opening three of four Tests at home against Australia proved to be enough for Rohit Sharma's side to clinch their spot in the WTC final, though to put the icing on the cake they are on track to avoid defeat in the fourth Test and win the Border-Gavaskar series outright.

India began their campaign for the cycle in England, taking a 2-1 lead in their series against Joe Root's men, before the fifth Test was postponed until 2022 due to Covid.

They would go on to lose the fifth Test match in Birmingham, though strong home series against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh set up their charge to the WTC final.

Their Border-Gavaskar series win sets up a final against Australia on neutral ground at The Oval in London beginning on June 7, with the winner claiming the World Test Championship mace.

India lost the inaugural World Test Championship final to New Zealand in 2021, as Kane Williamson's side chased down a target of 139 in Southampton.

Rohit Sharma, skipper of the Indian team was elated after India sealed their spot in the final. He said, "We are delighted to qualify for our second successive World Test Championship Final. We have played some outstanding cricket both home and away in the last two years and I am proud of my team and their unwavering commitment to success in Test cricket which is one of the main reasons for our qualification." 

Anticipating a tough contest against Australia, Rohit added, "We will soon turn our focus on the Ultimate Test at The Oval which is one of the most iconic Test venues in the world. Australia will definitely come hard at us in the final and it should make for an enthralling contest that will be enjoyed by five-day cricket fans from around the world." 

The Indian captain was also confident about their chances of winning the mace, stating, "India have always enjoyed excellent support in England and I am confident that we will have a big turnout of Indian fans from 7 June once we begin our quest for the ICC World Test Championship Mace, we are determined to win the championship and improve on our performance at Southampton two years ago."

Video cwc19 25 Jun 21
The day New Zealand became the WTC21 Champions


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