"The sun can rise from the west but they cannot whitewash us" - Aakash Chopra on India's qualification scenarios for the WTC final
Aakash Chopra has delved into the Border-Gavaskar Trophy's impact on India's qualification scenarios for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Rohit Sharma and Co. will lock horns with Australia in a four-match Test series, with the first game scheduled to start in Nagpur on Thursday, February 9. While Pat Cummins' side are almost assured of a spot in the WTC title decider, Sri Lanka and South Africa are competing with India to be the other finalists.
On the Aakashvani show on JioCinema, Chopra pointed out that India will be out of the race if they are whitewashed by Australia but ruled out the possibility of such a result, saying:
"Everything is at stake for the qualification for the World Test Championship but what are the actual scenarios? If we lose 0-4, it will not happen, the sun can rise from the west but they cannot whitewash us, but God forbid if it happens, we are gone."
Chopra highlighted that India will not be concerned about the other results if they win at least three games in the series, observing:
"If we win this series by 4-0, 3-0 or 3-1, if any of these three results happen, then we qualify. Then we don't have to look here or there, whatever Sri Lanka or South Africa do, it does not make a difference to us."
India have won their last three series against Australia, two away and one at home, by identical 2-1 margins. They will have to do one better to assure themselves of a spot in the WTC final.
"Then we will look towards the Sri Lanka-New Zealand matches" - Aakash Chopra on India winning at most 2 Tests
Chopra added that India's qualification will be dependent on the Sri Lanka-New Zealand results if they emerge victorious in the series by winning at most two games, elaborating:
"If we don't win by 4-0, 3-0 or 3-1, assuming we win by 2-1, 2-0 or 1-0, then we will look towards the Sri Lanka-New Zealand matches. South Africa will be out if we win with that margin, but Sri Lanka will have to win their series 2-0 in New Zealand. If they do that, they will qualify and we will be out, but the chances of that are also not there."
The reputed commentator pointed out that the Lankan Lions would still have to beat the Black Caps to pip India to the post if the Australia series ends in a draw, stating:
"The likely scenario will be that we will win by 2-1, 3-1 or 3-0, we are not going to lose the series. I feel the series will not be drawn as well. If that happens, we can qualify. The last scenario is that if the series is drawn, South Africa will still be out and Sri Lanka will also be out if they don't win the series."
Chopra concluded by summarizing that India will play Australia in the WTC final in England after IPL 2023 if they win the home series against the same opponents by a decent margin.
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