ICC Test championship: 4 teams which could finish in the top 4
With the announcement of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the ICC has finally tried to bring in context to Test matches.
The tournament will be played from July 15, 2019 to April 30, 2021.
As per the schedule, the nine top-ranked sides in the world will take part in the tournament. Each side will play six series, on a home and away basis. The opponents will be selected mutually in the two-year cycle.
The top two sides will eventually face-off in the finale, the venue of which is yet to be decided.
Here in this slider, we try to predict the top four teams in the league, and then stick our necks out to point out the two finalists.
#4 New Zealand
Led by Kane Williamson, New Zealand have a strong Test unit and have the potency to challenge any opponent across all the different conditions. Also, they have always performed well in world leagues and this particular one should be no different.
Kane Williamson, Tom Latham with the bat and then Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner with the ball lend a solid balance to the side and they have all the bases covered to do well both at home and abroad.
However, their biggest challenge might well be the lack of a genuine match-winning spinner, and in Ish Sodhi, they have the brightest prospect, more so when they play their games in the subcontinent.
Mercurial Pakistan have become a strong and balanced Test outfit and their recent Test victory at Lord's vindicates the fact that if they perform to their potential, they can well be the team to watch out for in the league.
The batting is young, but they have Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq to shoulder the responsibilty. Their biggest strength lies in the bowling department and in Amir, Hasan Ali, and Mohammed Abbas, they have all the bases covered.
Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah can be the match-winners if the conditions suit slow bowling and Sarfraz should now look to shore up the middle order.
Having said this, their biggest impediment might be them as they are prone to blow hot and cold too often.