EXPLAINED: WTC Final Qualification Scenario For Top 4 Teams
We are in the endgame now; only three series remain in the ongoing second edition of the World Test Championship: India host Australia for 4 Tests, New Zealand host Sri Lanka for 2 Tests, and South Africa host West Indies for 2 Tests.
By the end of the third week in March, the two WTC finalists will be decided. The WTC final 2023 will be played at The Oval in the second week of June.
Australia are at the top of the WTC points table with 75.56% PCT and are favorites to reach the final, followed by India (58.93%), Sri Lanka (53.3) and South Africa (48.72).
Here are the scenarios for each of the top 4 teams regarding the WTC final:
With 10 wins and just 1 Test loss, and 4 draws, Australia are all but likely to reach the WTC final. All they have to do is now avoid a 4-0 white-wash in India, which, though, is entirely possible.
The only scenario in which they will miss out from the WTC final is if they lose all their four Tests in India and Sri Lanka win both their matches (PCT shooting up to 61.11) in New Zealand. In that case, Sri Lanka will jump to the second place. If Sri Lanka win 1-0 in New Zealand, their percentage will go up to 55.56, which will below Australia’s 59.65 even if they lose 4-0 in India.
Even at least one draw in India - that is even a 3-0 loss in India - and no dropping of points due to slow over rate, will see Australia in the WTC final.
A 4-0 or 3-1 win over Australia will see India reach the WTC final irrespective of other series results.
However, a 2-2 draw result will bring Sri Lanka into play: if India-Australia series ends 2-2 and Sri Lanka win 2-0 in New Zealand, Sri Lanka will qualify for the final.
India could also slip behind South Africa if they collect fewer than 21 points against Australia and South Africa win 2-0 at home vs West Indies. This means, India will stay ahead of South Africa even with a 1-0 series win or a 2-2 draw (24 points), but not with a 1-1 draw (20 points).
Currently at the third place, Sri Lanka will have to win 2-0 in New Zealand, which will take their PCT to 61.11%. They would need either India to hammer Australia 4-0, or for the series to end in a draw, or for Australia to win the series so Sri Lanka can finish above India.
Further, if Sri Lanka draw the series 1-1 vs NZ, they will finish on 52.78%. For them to qualify with that, they will need India to get no more than 12 points from the series against Australia (3-1 or 1-0 series defeat), and for South Africa to get no more than 16 points (1-0 series win) vs WI.
Despite South Africa not winning any of their three away series in this WTC cycle, Dean Elgar’s side (which has PCT of 48.72) has an outside chance of making it to the WTC final, but depending vastly on other results.
First, if they win both home Tests vs West Indies, they go up to 55.56%. Then, they will need Sri Lanka to only get one win in New Zealand or worse, and for India to get fewer than 21 points vs Australia.