#NewsBytesExplainer: Decoding possible scenarios of ICC World Test Championship
New Zealand, on Wednesday, handed Pakistan an innings defeat in the second Test at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch. After a scintillating win, they became the number one Test side for the very first time. New Zealand, who presently hold the third spot in the ICC World Test Championship table, solidified their spot. We take a look at the possible scenarios of ICC WTC.
New Zealand gained a maximum of 120 points in the ICC WTC after the 2-0 series win against Pakistan. This has taken their overall points tally to 420 out of the possible 600. Prior to the Pakistan series, they also cleaned up West Indies and India in the two-match Test series. Notably, this is the first time that NZ have won six consecutive Tests.
Currently, New Zealand stand third in the points table with 70 percentage points won. According to the new rules, these points will determine the two finalists, rather than total points won. Meanwhile, Australia and India are the top-two sides with 76.7 and 72.2 percentage points respectively. Also, New Zealand and India have played the maximum number of series (5), thus far.
England, South Africa, and Pakistan hold the next three spots in the World Test Championship table with 60.8, 40.0, and 30.7 percentage points respectively. Barring England, neither of the bottom-placed teams are in contention to qualify for the final.
The recent win of NZ has made India's road to the final tough. India will have to win at least four of the remaining six games (2 vs AUS, 4 vs ENG) to claim qualification. By winning these games, they (390) will secure 498 points from a maximum of 696, fetching a percentage of nearly 71. India's chances will also depend upon other results.
Australia will certainly be tested by India in the next two Tests. They home side has attained 322 points out of the maximum 600, as of now. Even if they lost the impending two Tests and win the three Tests against South Africa, they will achieve 442 points. In order to claim a POP of over 70, they need to claim nearly 430 points.
NZ have done their bit by winning the last three series. They would want India to lose the remaining matches to solidify their chances. Meanwhile, England (292) will have to win all their remaining matches if they need to climb up. By winning all of the six games (2 vs SL, 4 vs IND), they can attain a POP of over 70.