Cricket Australia (CA) recently announced the postponement of the proposed tour to South Africa including three Tests in February 2021. The three Tests were slated to be part of Australia's last Test series in the ongoing World Test Championship whose Final is to be played in Lord's. However, Australia's reservations to travel to South Africa due to COVID-19 reasons have jolted their chances to qualify for the WTC Final at Lord's in June 2021.
Currently, Australia fancies the third spot in the WTC Points Table, and with an expected three Tests to follow, they were in with a healthy chance to qualify to the WTC Final 2021. However, the postponed tour of South Africa has allowed New Zealand to confirm their spot in the WTC Final 2021.
The BlackCaps, who are ranked second in the World Test Championship Points Table, having already qualified, will face either India, Australia, and England. However, it is more likely that India will be the second team to compete for the elusive WTC title at Lord's later this year.
Here's a look at all the possible scenarios for India to qualify for the World Test Championship Final 2021:
Possible Scenarios for India to Qualify For the WTC Final 2021 against New Zealand
India is scheduled to feature in a four-match home Test series against England beginning February 5. While both the teams have a chance to grab a spot in the final, it is India who looks more likely to make it to the final. For India to qualify for the WTC 2021 Final, they need to beat England by a margin of:
- 4-0: If India by a margin of 4-0, they will retain the top spot in the WTC Points Table and will directly qualify for the final. In this case, India will end with 550 points out of the contested 720 points throughout the World Test Championship. This will mean that with a winning percentage of 76.3%, the Virat Kohli-led side finishes atop of the WTC points table, Or
- 3-0: If India beat England in the three games, and draw the other Test, they will yet again retain the top spot in the points table. In this case, they will end with 530 points out of the contested 720 points throughout the World Test Championship. This will ensure a higher winning percentage of 73.6% as compared to NZ's 70, Or
- 3-1: If India beat England in the three games, they will again retain the top spot in the points table. In this case, they will end with 520 points out of the contested 720 points throughout the World Test Championship. This will ensure a higher winning percentage of 72.2% as compared to NZ's 70, Or
- 2-0: If India can win the two Tests and can manage to draw the remaining two Tests, they will again qualify with the most superior winning percentage in the World Test Championship 2021. In this case, they will finish with 510 points out of 720 contest points to grab the first spot. India will have a percentage of 70.8%, Or
- 2-1: India can even afford to lose a Test match if they win only a couple of the four Tests against England. They will still finish higher than Australia's win percentage of 69.2 in the points table. The Kohli-led side will finish with 500 WTC points to grab the second spot. This means a winning percentage of 69.4% will put them marginally ahead of the Australian side.
Any other scenario will mean that either England or Australia will qualify for the WTC final 2021. However, with the kind of India's dominance at home, it is highly unlikely for the visitors to introduce any other result in the four-match Test series.