"It’s going to be hard for South Africa and Australia to not make it" - Shane Watson on World Test Championship finalists

Australia and South Africa are going strong in the WTC (Credits: Twitter)
Australia and South Africa are going strong in the WTC (Credits: Twitter)

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has shared his predictions for the finalists in the ongoing cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC). Given the current scenario, Watson expects Australia and South Africa to be the strongest contenders for finalists.

Currently, Australia and South Africa occupy the top two spots in the WTC standings. Despite both sides having six points each, the Proteas are at the top with 75 as their percentage points, while Australia have 70.

With their dominant win at Lord's, South Africa extend their lead in #WTC23 🙌More on #ENGvSA ➡️

Speaking to Sanjana Ganesan at the ICC Review, Watson said it was hard to find any team that could usurp Australia and South Africa in the final given how well they have played in recent times.

He said:

"Right now, the way I see it, it’s going to be hard for South Africa and Australia to not make it. They’re both playing really good cricket. Australia played good cricket apart from that last Test against Sri Lanka where they got swept in turning conditions in the last innings."

However, the former cricketer believes the Proteas cannot afford any slip-ups as India and Pakistan are waiting in the wings. He warned that the two sub-continent giants have plenty of match-winners and won't rule out their comebacks.

He said:

"Even as the front-runners in the competition though, South Africa cannot afford a serious dip in form. Sloppy performances would leave things open for the chasing pack, namely India and Pakistan, to make a move."
"You can never discount India and Pakistan, because they’ve got so many match winners, outside of their home countries as well. Those two, I’d be very surprised if they don’t come knocking on the door leading into the final."

South Africa solidified their top spot with an innings win against England in the first Test at Lord's. Led by the Proteas' pace quartet, they bowled out the hosts for 165 and 149 in the first and second innings, respectively, within three days to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

"I wish I did play in the WTC" - Shane Watson

Shane Watson. (Image Credits: Getty)
Shane Watson. (Image Credits: Getty)

Watson, who has featured in 59 Tests, rued the absence of the WTC during his playing days as it took plenty of time to come to fruition. However, he is happy to see red-ball cricket carrying relevance today. The ace all-rounder said:

"Yes, I wish I did play in the WTC. Even in my playing days, in Test cricket, there was a lot of talk about the ICC World Test Championship coming into play, and it took way too long to be put into place, and unfortunately, I missed out on it. For the current playing group, Test cricketers around the world, it’s very special to know there’s a culmination coming with a WTC final."
THEY'VE DONE IT! Ross Taylor hits the winnings runs and the BLACKCAPS win the ICC World Test Championship FINAL by eight wickets over India at the Hampshire Bowl. New Zealand's ultimate duo do it in the ultimate Test! #WTC21 #BACKTHEBLACKCAPS

New Zealand defeated India at Southampton last year by eight wickets to win the inaugural edition of the WTC. The Kiwis are currently eighth in the WTC rankings and are arguably out of the finals race.

Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.

Quick Links

Edited by Aranya Chaudhury
Be the first one to comment