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Who Will Compete Against New Zealand In The WTC Title Match?

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The title will be decided between the top two teams in the WTC table, with the current period ending in March.

New Zealand has qualified for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, which will be played at Lord’s in June, after Australia’s planned tour of South Africa was postponed due to Covid-related health concerns. India will face the Kiwis in the final if they score 70 points in their upcoming four-Test series against England. The title will be decided between the top two teams in the WTC table, with the current period ending in March.

Why is New Zealand on the way out?
The WTC finalists will be determined by the percentage of points (PCT) earned rather than absolute points, as a result of a Covid-forced amendment made by the International Cricket Council to account for the postponed/canceled series. The percentage of points earned out of a total number of points contested is referred to as PCT. On that basis, New Zealand comes in second with a PCT of 70 percent. Following Australia’s 2-1 loss to India in a home series, their PCT fell to 69.2 percent. For the time being, the Australians are unable to overcome their Trans-Tasman rivals due to the postponement of the South Africa series.As a result, the Kiwis are through because their two closest competitors, India and England, are about to play a bilateral series in which only one team will qualify.

What is India’s position?
According to the ICC, India leads the table in both absolute points and PCT, with 430 and 71.7 percent, respectively. Under the WTC, each series is worth 120 points, and India needs 70 points from the one against England to beat Australia’s PCT and advance to the final. A victory in a four-Test series is worth 30 points, while a tie is worth 10 points. As a result, India will qualify for the WTC final with a 2-1 series win over England, which is the minimum requirement.

What about the United Kingdom?
Joe Root’s team has a chance to compete in the WTC final as well, but the calculation is very difficult for them. England’s PCT is currently 68.7%, and they will need 87 points from the series against India to qualify for the Lord’s final. They will get past Australia with three wins in the upcoming season, which is the minimum requirement, while India’s PCT will decrease. England would advance if they win the series against India by a score of 3-1 or 3-0.

Is Australia still a contender?
They have, at least in theory. If the India-England series ends in a 0-0, 1-1, or 2-2 draw, India’s PCT will fall below Australia’s, while England will remain in fourth position. The Australians will also be in the WTC final if England wins the series 1-0 or 2-1, or if India wins 1-0. In that case, both India and England will be eliminated for failing to collect the requisite number of points.

So, the postponement has severely harmed Australia’s chances?
Yeah, to a large degree. Tim Paine and his teammates would have played for 120 points in a three-Test series in South Africa, with a Test victory worth 40 points. In retrospect, Australia will rue the four points they lost in the Boxing Day Test against India due to a sluggish over-rate. Australia’s PCT would have been 70 percent with those four points, the same as New Zealand’s. In that case, Australia’s superior Runs per Wicket (RPW) ratio would have seen them through. Australia’s RPW is 1.39, while New Zealand’s is 1.28, according to ESPNCricinfo.


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