All the World Test Championship qualification possibilities are making my head hurt a little
England have thumped India with 227 runs in what is their biggest away win in India. They managed to do this after India’s emphatic win in Australia which is a testament of how good this English side is away from home. This win has reshuffled the probability of joining New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship. Let’s look at who among India, England and Australi has the best chance to reach the final.
India is currently at 4th with 430 points from 6 series in which they won 4, lost 4 and drew 1 game. The series between Indi and England is the last one before the points are concluded. For India to reach the finals they need to win either 3-1 or 2-1 against England. That will take them above England and even New Zealand and would qualify them for the final.
Although India lost quite badly in the first match against England, it still has the best chance to get to the final with 2 wins and a draw in the next 3 test matches. India’s loss to England could most probably be accredited to their emphatic win over Australi in Australi. There is always a slump in performance whenever a team wins an almost unwinnable match. The players feel accomplished thereafter and do not go with the same energy as they just did in the last game. This could be the case with India and hopefully, they would get back together and win the next couple of games in their own backyard.
England have become a formidable test team and that shows in the WTC points table. They have amassed 442 points in the 6 series they have won until now. In those 6 series, they have won 11, lost 4 and drawn an additional 3 games. Currently, they top the points table and a 1-3, 0-3 or 0-4 win get them to the finals against New Zealand. They have already won their first match and if they win 2 out of the other 3, they woudl go straight to the finals. although beating India in India is the toughest challenge for any test playing country England have shown that it is indeed possible. India has done something unthinkable in Australi and England could do the same in India as well. James Anderson is becoming better as he ages, like a fine wine and Joe Root is challenging for the top spot in the greatest test batsman list. If they play anything as they have done in the first game, it could well be possible for them to play the final against New Zealand.
Australia does not have any more matches to play before the final, but they are still in contention for the final spot. A 2-2, 1-1, 0-1, 1-2 and 0-2 score between India and England would get them to the final. Now that it’s spelt out before our eyes, it looks like Australia has the best chance of qualification.
As someone said on twitter, “the worst thing Engand can do is make australia qulify”
All these probabilities would certainly bring big risk cricket where teams would declare aggressively to not let the test go to a draw. All the better reasons to love test cricket I say!