WTC Final qualification scenario: What happens if India fails to win 4th Test & SL beat New Zealand in 1st Test

Australia have scored 347 runs in four sessions of the ongoing Ahmedabad Test and a loss for India or a draw might not be far-fetched anymore. With New Zealand in trouble against Sri Lanka in the first Test in Christchurch, the World Test Championship final qualification scenario has taken an interesting turn.

Updated Mar 10, 2023 | 01:08 PM IST

Australia have scored 347 runs in four sessions in the Ahmedabad Test and a loss for India or a draw might not be far-fetched anymore | Photo: AP/@ICC

  • Australia have batted for more than four sessions in the ongoing fourth Test against India
  • India's place in the WTC final is at stake in the Ahmedabad Test
  • With Sri Lanka ahead in the first Test against New Zealand, the WTC final qualification scenario has taken an interesting turn.
After the dust bowls in the first three Test matches, the India-Australia series finally witnessed a batting paradise at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, however, the move might not aid the hosts a bit given there is a World Test Championship (WTC) final qualification at stake. Team India head coach Rahul Dravid had said before the series finale that the decision to play on turners and result-oriented surfaces was taken keeping in mind the WTC final qualification. However, after the Indore pitch was rated poor by the ICC, a batting beauty has been laid out and Australia have made the most of it after winning the toss scoring 347 runs in four sessions, with Usman Khawaja batting on 150 and Cameron Green scoring his maiden Test ton.
The nature of the pitch and Australia's brilliance might put India's chances in jeopardy given that India have to win the ongoing match, if they don't want to depend on other results to be in the WTC final. If India wins the ongoing Test, their points percentage (PCT) will jump up to 62.5 from 60.29. However, if they lose the PCT will drop to 56.9. If the match ends in a draw, India's PCT will be 58.7.
Hence, India's fate won't be in their hands if the match result is other than the hosts' win. Sri Lanka are 193 runs ahead in the series opener against New Zealand in Christchurch and could very well beat the Kiwis in the ongoing Test. Sri Lanka's PCT currently stands at 53.33. If Sri Lanka win the series opener, their PCT will rise to 57.58. However, for Sri Lanka to have a shot at qualifying for the WTC final, they will have to win both the Test matches as then only their PCT will rise to 61.1.
If Sri Lanka fails to win even one of the two matches against New Zealand, their chances would drop significantly. If Sri Lanka win one and lose the other, their PCT will be 52.77. And, if they win one match and the other is a draw, their PCT will be 55.55. Hence, even if India loses the Ahmedabad Test (or the game ends in a draw), they will be in with a chance to qualify for the final.

WTC 2021-23 points table

WTC 2021-23 Final scenarios
For Australia vs India - India to win 4th Test/Sri Lanka to lose or draw one match against New Zealand
For Australia vs Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka to beat New Zealand 2-0 and India to lose the 4th Test
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