While Australia qualified for the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final by beating India by nine wickets in the Indore Test, India and Sri Lanka are still in the race to grab second spot.
While Team India are taking on the Aussies in the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the Lankans face the Kiwis at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch in the first Test of the two-match series.
Both the India-Australia and New Zealand-Sri Lanka Tests began on the same day. The Test match in Ahmedabad seems to be heading for a draw. Only 14 wickets fell by lunch on Day 4 on a batting beauty. In contrast, the Test match in Christchurch is nicely poised, with all three results possible.
While India would ideally like to win the Ahmedabad Test against the Aussies and confirm their berth for the WTC final, it would not be all over for them even if they draw or lose the match. With help from New Zealand, they can still qualify for the World Test Championship final.
Sri Lanka have set a challenging target of 285 for New Zealand in the Christchurch Test. The hosts went to stumps on Day 4 at 28/1 and need a further 257 runs for victory on Day 5. A win in the match will not only give the Kiwis a 1-0 lead in the series but will also knock Sri Lanka out of the WTC final race and confirm Team India’s berth for the summit clash.
The only way Sri Lanka can get past India in the WTC table is if they win both Tests against New Zealand. Even a draw in the Christchurch Test will confirm India’s place in the final of the Test championship.
A victory for India in Ahmedabad will see their PCT in the WTC table go up from 60.29 to 62.5. A loss would see it drop to 56.9. Sri Lanka's PCT presently is 53.33.
If Sri Lanka win both Tests against the Kiwis, the Lankans would finish with a PCT of 61.1. In this scenario, if India fail to win (lose or draw) in Ahmedabad, Lanka will go through to the final of the World Test Championship.
When will the WTC 2023 final be played?
The World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final will be played at The Oval in London from June 7 to 11, with a reserve day in place (June 12).
New Zealand won the inaugural edition of the championship, beating India by eight wickets in the 2021 final at Southampton. While the Kiwis have failed to qualify this time, this will still have a say in deciding the second finalist!