South Africa's slim hopes of qualifying for the World Test Championship final 2023 have perished after Australia suffered back-to-back defeats in the first two matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against India.
The Proteas, currently placed fourth in the World Test Championship (WTC) points table, needed Australia to defeat India in the four-match series to keep their chances alive. However, India have gained an unassailable 2-0 lead today after winning the Test in Delhi.
A spectacular bowling performance from Ravindra Jadeja helped the Indian team wrap up the Delhi Test inside three days. The six-wicket win at the Arun Jaitley Stadium has almost sealed India's spot in the 2023 World Test Championship final.
Three teams, namely India, Australia and Sri Lanka, are alive in the race to the World Test Championship cycle. Two of them will make it to the summit clash at The Oval in June. India and Australia are the favorites to finish in the top two positions right now, but Sri Lanka could spring a surprise as well.
South Africa still have 2 matches remaining in ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle
The Proteas have two home matches remaining in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship cycle. They are scheduled to play against the West Indies from February 28 onwards.
If South Africa win the two-Test series by 2-0, they will end up with 55.56% points in the standings, while even a 2-2 draw in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 series will keep India's points percentage to 56.94%.
Despite registering a series win against India last year, the Proteas have no chance of qualifying for the WTC final. Cricket South Africa recently handed over the team's reins to Temba Bavuma. It will be interesting to see if a captaincy change results in a change of fortunes for the South African side.