Pakistan's defeat against Sri Lanka on Thursday has slightly increased India's chances of qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final. Babar Azam's men slipped from third position to fifth in the WTC standings after a big defeat in Galle.
Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and India are the top four teams on the points table right now. Sri Lanka have only two matches left, and if they win both their away matches against New Zealand next year, their points percentage will increase from 53.33% to 61.11%.
India have six more matches remaining in the current WTC cycle. Two games are against Bangladesh away from home, and four are against Australia at home. Assuming India win all their matches, they will have 68.05 percent (147 out of 216 points).
So for India to make it to the World Test Championship final, two teams out of Australia, South Africa and Pakistan need to have less than 68.05% points. In this article, we will look at how they can finish below India in the standings.
Australia will end below India if they lose 0-4 in their 4-match series
Australia's remaining matches in this WTC cycle: Two vs West Indies (home), three vs South Africa (home), and four vs India (away).
Australia will visit India for four Test matches next year. India's first condition for qualification is to win their remaining six matches. So if they win the four matches against Australia, the maximum points percentage the Aussies could attain will be 68%. In that case, India will remain above Australia.
Pakistan should draw 1 of their remaining 5 matches
Pakistan's remaining matches in this WTC cycle: Three vs England (home), two vs New Zealand (home).
Pakistan need to win all of their remaining five matches to finish with more than 68% points. Even if one of the five games ends in a draw, they will have less than 68% points.
If South Africa lose at least 3 of their remaining matches, they will finish with less than 68.05% points
South Africa's remaining matches in this WTC cycle: Three vs England (away), two vs West Indies (home), and three vs Australia (away).
South Africa will probably be India's opponents in the World Test Championship final if Rohit Sharma's men win their remaining six matches. For the Proteas' points percentage to sink below 68, they will have to lose at least three of their remaining eight matches.
How can India & Pakistan still meet in the World Test Championship final?
The chances of India and Pakistan finishing as the top two teams in the WTC standings have reduced significantly following Sri Lanka's win in Galle. However, there is still a slight chance of seeing the two arch-rivals go head-to-head in the final at Lord's next year.
For that to happen, India will have to win their remaining six matches, Pakistan will have to win their next five matches and both teams will have to hope that Australia beat South Africa 3-0 in their home series during the 2022/23 summer.
Will India and Pakistan meet in the World Test Championship final? Sound off in the comments section below.
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