Team India is all set to lock horns against New Zealand in a 2-Test affair starting February 21 with the first Test in Wellington. The Test series against the BlackCaps will mark India’s first of the two Tests outing this year. Later this year, India will be up against Australia in a 4-match Test series as their only second appearance in the World Test Championship this year.
As far as World Test Championship is concerned, the series against New Zealand will have 120 WTC points at stake. Currently, India fancies the numero uno position in the WTC points table and will only look to consolidate their lead with two wins in the upcoming series. Behind India, Australia has been the second most threatening team in the Test Championship so far. Aussies sit comfortably on the second spot with 296 points while India owns the first spot with 360 points.
However, the complexion of the points table can change very quickly if Virat Kohli-led side face their first series defeat in the ongoing World Test Championship. A 0-2 loss against New Zealand will further spice up things in what has been a cakewalk so far.
Here we take a look at possible scenarios if India loses the series 0-2:
– If India ends up on the losing side, the Men in Blue will continue to retain the top spot in the points table with a less margin to second-ranked Australia. In that case, India will have a total of 360 points in nine matches in the four series in the Test Championship.
– India’s loss against New Zealand would mean an opportunity for Australia to topple India from the top position. The two teams face in a Test series later this year in Australia. The points deficit between them would be merely 64 points in the points tally.
– On the other hand, New Zealand will also gain a valuable 120 points and will claim the third position, surpassing England’s tally of 146 points. This will indeed be a morale-boosting win for the hosts with one of the toughest opponents being knocked down in an evenly matched contest. Currently, Kiwis have 60 points and are ranked No.5 with a solitary win against England in the five matches that they have played so far in the Championship.
– India’s 0-2 loss would interest up things and can make the road ahead tough for Team India. After New Zealand’s Test tour, India will face Australia in an away series followed by a grueling Test affair against England in February 2021.
– Though Team India might back themselves to edge out England in the five-match home series next year, winning against Australia would be an uphill task despite their win down under in 2018
– Also, Team India’s loss could open the gates even for lower-ranked teams for beaking into the top three positions in the points table. Teams like South Africa, Pakistan might smell an opportunity to move up in the table.
– With one foot already in the World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June 2021, a 2-0 win for New Zealand might bring excitement into which team faces India in the final at Lord’s in June next year. While Australia look favorites at the moment, a surprise later in the year might just work in favor of the purpose behind the initiative to launch the Test Championship.