India's path to the World Test Championship final has become a bit clearer after the draw between Australia and South Africa in Sydney earlier on Sunday. The third and final Test of the three-match series between Australia and South Africa ended in a stalemate, with rain interrupting the proceedings multiple times at the SCG.
The final scoreline of the series was 2-0 in Australia's favor. After the series, Australia continue to be at the top of the standings with 75.56% points. India are second right now with 58.93% points. Sri Lanka hold the third spot with 53.33% points, while South Africa are down to the fourth position with 48.72% points.
As of Sunday, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, and England have a chance of qualifying for the World Test Championship (WTC) final. At the moment, India and Australia look like the favorites to finish in the top two, but everything depends on the Rohit Sharma-led outfit's performance against the Aussies in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023.
India will host Australia for a four-match series next month. In this listicle, we will look at the multiple results possible in that series and how they can impact India's chances of qualifying for the World Test Championship final.
Scenario 1: India will qualify for World Test Championship final if they win 4-0, 3-0 or 3-1
India will book a place in the World Test Championship final if they win the series against Australia 4-0, 3-0 or even 3-1. The four-match series will take place from February 9 to March 13 in Nagpur, Dharamsala, Delhi, and Ahmedabad.
If India win at least three of the four Tests, they will finish with 62.50% or more points, which should be enough for a top-two finish. In case India win 3-0 or 4-0, they can even finish at the helm of the ICC World Test Championship points table.
Scenario 2: India win by a scoreline of 2-1, 2-0 or 1-0
India's chances of finishing in the top two will be significantly reduced if they win less than three Tests against Australia. Here's a list of their final points percentage if they win the series 2-1, 2-0 or 1-0:
- If India win by 2-1, their final points percentage will be 58.8%.
- If India win by 2-0, their final points percentage will be 60.65%.
- If India win by 1-0, their final points percentage will be 56.94%.
In all three scenarios, Australia will remain above India. The Rohit Sharma-led outfit will then have to hope that Sri Lanka do not win more than one Test in their away series against New Zealand.
Scenario 3: India draw the series or Australia secure a series win
India have never lost a home series in the WTC, but in the rare case of Australia securing a series win, India will be virtually knocked out of the race to the World Test Championship final.
Even if India lose 0-1, their points percentage will come down to 51.39%, which will keep them below South Africa if the Proteas beat West Indies 2-0 at home. If they lose the series by a scoreline of 0-2, 1-2, 1-3, 0-3 or 0-4, India will be heavily dependent on other teams.
In case India draw the series 2-2, they will be reliant on New Zealand. If the Kiwis do not allow Sri Lanka a series win, India will qualify for the World Test Championship final.
However, India's chances will reduce if the final scoreline is 1-1 or 0-0. In that case, the South Africa vs. West Indies series will also be decisive.
So, the best scenario for India is to beat Australia 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0 and seal their place in the World Test Championship final.
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