WTC Final scenarios: Australia, India, and South Africa in three-way clash

India’s 2-0 series triumph over Bangladesh in Mirpur on Sunday helped them solidify their second place in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) standings and caused some significant movements as well.

India’s 2-0 series triumph over Bangladesh in Mirpur on Sunday helped them solidify their second place in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) standings and caused some significant movements as well.

Bangladesh fought hard but Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer showcased their class with the bat, as India won by three wickets. After their win, India are now only behind Australia in the World Test Championship standings, leaving them in a good position to feature in back-to-back finals.

Apart from Australia and India, South Africa are also among the contenders to reach the WTC final. A look at the scenarios in which these sides could qualify for the final.

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First – Australia – 76.92 per cent of possible points

Australia are in the box seat to qualify for their first World Test Championship final, with Pat Cummins’ side currently holding a healthy lead at the top of the standings.

Fresh from a dominant performance in the first Test against South Africa, Australia have two more matches at home against the Proteas in Melbourne and Sydney ahead in which they will be confident of performing well given their current rich vein of form.

Four Tests in India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in February and March next year will be Australia’s final assignment this period, but they may almost have their place in the final wrapped up prior to that tour should things go their way on home soil.

Second – India – 58.92 per cent of possible points

Even with a host of key players on the sidelines through injury, India sealed a 2-0 victory over Bangladesh away from home and it took their point percentage to 58.92.

They will need to produce some good results during their home series of four Tests against pacesetters Australia if they are to qualify for back-to-back appearances in the World Test Championship final though, so there is still plenty of cricket that India must navigate through.

If Australia win the ongoing series against South Africa 3-0, then India will need a series victory by any margin against Australia at home.

But if South Africa sneak in with a win in Australia and then clean sweep West Indies 2-0, India would need to win either three Tests or win two and draw the remaining two against Australia to ensure they finish above South Africa’s 60 per cent.Third – South Africa – 54.55 per cent of possible points

Losing a Test match inside two days is never good news and South Africa suffered a further blow after their six-wicket loss to Australia when they dropped out of a top-two place and were replaced by India in the second spot on the World Test Championship standings.

The good news for Dean Elgar’s side is they still have an opportunity to reclaim their place inside the top two, but they must hit back quickly during their ongoing series in Australia.

South Africa do have the luxury of two matches at home against the West Indies in February and March, but they will want to make sure they don’t leave themselves with too much to do by the time that series comes around.

-IANS

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