Who will win WTC 2023 if IND vs AUS Test ends in a tie?
The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between arch-rivals India and Australia got underway at the Oval in London starting Wednesday, June 7.
Both teams are coming off sensational performances throughout the two-year cycle, with the Aussies finishing first and India second on the points table.
The finale is being played with the same rules as the usual Test matches- five days and 90 overs per day. Apart from that, there is a reserve day to compensate for any time lost due to weather interruptions during the first five days.
However, should the game end in a tie, the World Test Championship Trophy will be shared between the two teams. Hence, both teams will be declared joint winners.
The weather forecast is expected to be mostly sunny for the first three days, with a slight chance of rain on day four (Saturday) and five (Sunday).
The inaugural edition of the WTC final two years back had the first and fourth days washed out due to rain, along with several other interruptions during the other days.
Thanks to the inclement weather, the game was extended to the reserve day to have a result in place, with New Zealand eventually winning by eight wickets.
India leave out Ravichandran Ashwin from their playing XI for the WTC final
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed at the toss that star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will miss out on the summit clash against Australia at the Oval.
With overcast conditions and a potentially seamer-friendly wicket, India decided to go with four pacers and the lone spinner in Ravindra Jadeja.
Speaking at the toss, Rohit admitted the difficulty of leaving Ashwin out of the team.
"We are going to bowl," Rohit said. "Just the conditions and also the weather being overcast. I don't think the pitch will change too much. You have to play good cricket and come out on top. Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja.
"It's always tough (to leave Ashwin), he's been a match-winner for us over the course of so many years," he added. "But you got to do the things that's needed for the team and eventually we came up with that decision."
Ravichandran Ashwin is the highest wicket-taker for India in the 2021-23 WTC cycle, with 61 scalps in 13 games at an incredible average of 19.67.
The off-spinner was also the leading wicket-taker in the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home against Australia, bagging 25 wickets in the four Tests.
The winner of the marquee encounter will become the only team to have won all four ICC tournaments (50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, and the WTC).
WTC Final lineups
Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, and Scott Boland.
India XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (wk), Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj.