India beat Australia by six wickets in Delhi to go 2-0 up in the four-match Test series. They also as good as confirmed their place in the World Test Championship final, to be played at The Oval, London between June 7 and 11.
The outcome eliminated South Africa (unless at least two of the top three teams resort to absurdly slow over rates for their remaining matches), reducing the race to the final to Australia and India, with only Sri Lanka having a chance to topple them.
The league stage only has six more Test matches before it is complete – two in each of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Sri Lanka’s tour of New Zealand, and the West Indies’ tour of South Africa. The first two series are, as things stand now, the most relevant to the final.
It also should be remembered that the teams are ranked not by wins alone but by the ratio between points won and points contested (PCT).
Who needs what to qualify for the World Test Championship final
Australia can afford to lose both their remaining Test matches, in Indore and Ahmedabad. They will still qualify as long as defending champions New Zealand manage so much as a draw against Sri Lanka at home. But if Sri Lanka indeed win 2-0, Australia will need at least a draw from their remaining two Test matches against India.
The maximum PCT Sri Lanka can reach is 61.11. To beat that, India need to win at least one more Test match (two draws will not be sufficient – that will take them to 60.65). If they win neither, they will have to back New Zealand to prevent Sri Lanka from pulling off a 2-0 sweep.
India-Australia possible PCT tallies
India 4-0 Australia – India 68.06, Australia 59.65
India 3-0 Australia – India 64.35, Australia 61.40
India 3-1 Australia – India 62.50, Australia 64.91
India 2-0 Australia – India 60.65, Australia 63.16
India 2-1 Australia – India 58.80, Australia 66.67
India 2-2 Australia – India 56.94, Australia 70.18
A 2-0 win will take Sri Lanka to 61.11. That is a prerequisite for them to qualify – and even that will not be enough. They will qualify if and only if India win both Test matches or win neither.
In other words, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will have to end 4-0, 2-0, 2-1, or 2-2 in India’s favour for Sri Lanka to have a chance of qualification. The other alternatives (India winning 3-0 or 3-1) will ensure India claim the spot at The Oval.
Sri Lanka possible PCT tallies
New Zealand 2-0 Sri Lanka – New Zealand 38.46, Sri Lanka 44.44
New Zealand 1-0 Sri Lanka – New Zealand 33.33, Sri Lanka 47.22
New Zealand 1-1 Sri Lanka – New Zealand 30.77, Sri Lanka 52.78
New Zealand 0-0 Sri Lanka – New Zealand 28.21, Sri Lanka 50.00
New Zealand 0-1 Sri Lanka – New Zealand 25.64, Sri Lanka 55.56
New Zealand 0-2 Sri Lanka – New Zealand 23.08, Sri Lanka 61.11
India’s win in Delhi have eliminated South Africa, who, just like the West Indies and New Zealand, are guaranteed to finish below both India and Australia. England (46.97), Pakistan (38.1), Bangladesh (11.11) are already out of the race.
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