WTC 2023 Final: India kickstarted the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 with a massive victory in Nagpur – by an innings and 132 runs – over Australia, wrapping up the contest inside three days.
Coming back after five months, Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round brilliance shone brightly, the southpaw bagging the Player of the Match award for five-wicket haul in Australia’s first innings, a score of 70(185) in India’s first innings, before he added two more wickets in Australia’s second innings.
Rohit Sharma hit his 9th Test century – and his first Test ton against Australia – while R Ashwin bagged another five-fer – his 31st in Test cricket and 6th against Australia – in the second innings.
With this victory in Nagpur, not only India have put the first step forward toward retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but also, and more importantly, toward reaching their second consecutive World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Australia still lead the WTC ranking table and India are still second – as they were before this Test – but there are changes in their Points percentage (PCT) following this result in Nagpur.
After the Nagpur Test, Australia’s PCT has slipped from 75.56 to 70.83, while India’s PCT has risen from 58.93 to 61.67.
Sri Lanka (53.33%) and South Africa (48.72%) are 3rd and 4th respectively and are alive in the race to the WTC final, but their chances are also dependent on the result of India-Australia Test series.
How can India reach the WTC 2023 final?
India have their fate in their own hands. If India win by 4-0 or 3-1, they will qualify for the WTC Final regardless of the results in other series.
However, if Australia somehow manages to make a comeback and the series ends in 2-2 and if Sri Lanka win 2-0 in New Zealand, India will drop outside the top two.
India could also slip behind South Africa if they collect fewer than 21 points against Australia and South Africa win 2-0 at home against West Indies.