Explained: Who’ll Qualify For World Test Championship Final? How?

Explained: How the World Test Championship, a tournament spanning two years, finally zeroes in on the two finalists.

Published
Cricket
3 min read
The first World Test Championship will be played in England this June.
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Snapshot

The World Test Championship is basically the World Cup for Test Cricket. But, unlike the ODI World Cup that takes place every four years, it is not an exclusive tournament.

Instead, it comprises a numbers of Test matches played over a period of two years, with the final match at the end to decide the eventual winner. The first edition of the championship began in August 2019 and will run till June 2021.

ICC first floated the idea in 2009. It was approved in 2010, with plans of hosting the first edition in 2013. But the tournament got postponed to 2017. It once again got cancelled in 2017 and finally, it was decided that the Test Championship will take off in 2019 after the World Cup in England and Wales.

Explained: Who’ll Qualify For World Test Championship Final? How?

  1. 1. How World Test Championship Came Into Existence?

    Out of the 12 Test-playing nations, only the top nine sides are involved in the competition. These nine teams play six series each, three at home and three away. The opponents were decided on mutual arrangement and every side faced only six of the other eight sides.

    Each of these series consist of two to five Test matches – as agreed by the respective cricket boards and depending on the FTP (Future Tours Program). Meaning, it is not necessary that all sides play equal number of Test matches during this two-year cycle.

    To ensure uniformity, every series has 120 points riding on it, irrespective of the number of Test matches being played.

    So, over the two-year cycle, a side can end up with a maximum of 720 points. At the end of the league round, the two sides with the most points would play the final in England in June 2021.

    Expand
  2. 2. How Are The Points Decided?

    As mentioned earlier, it is not necessary for the sides to play equal number of Tests during the Championship. In that regard, there is a mechanism to maintain uniformity.

    Every series carries 120 points, which are equally divided among the number of Tests in a series. So, points are awarded for individual Test results and not series outcomes.

    This means that in a five-match series, 24 points are available for each Test. For a four-match series, 30 points are allotted for a Test, and for a three-match and a two-match series, a maximum of 40 points and 60 points are up for grabs for every Test.

    Meanwhile, a tie is worth half the points for a win and a draw earns a third of the points for a win.

    Expand
  3. 3. Who Is Qualifying For The Final?

    With Australia pulling out of their away Test series against South Africa, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for this summer’s Test Championship final – having won 70 percent of their matches.

    The second finalist will be decided by the outcome of the ongoing India vs England four-match series with India; and also, Australia is still in contention to make the cut.

    Explained: Who’ll Qualify For  World Test Championship Final? How?
    (Graphic courtesy: ICC)

    With England winning the series-opener by 227 runs in Chennai, Joe Root’s team has now moved to the first spot with 70.2 percentage points. They need the four match series to end in either a 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0 victory in their favour to make the final cut for the final.

    India and Australia remain in contention for the other place along with England.

    India, who have slipped to fourth position with 68.3 percentage points, cannot afford another loss in the four-match series and will be looking to win at least two of the remaining three matches to secure a 2-1 or 3-1 result and a place in the final.

    Australia will get to feature in a Trans-Tasman summit clash if the India-England series is drawn or if England win 1-0, 2-1 or 2-0.

    Expand
  4. 4. What If June's Final Ends in a Draw?

    In the early stages of planning, it was decided that the final of the Test Championship will be a Timeless Test.

    But later, the plan changed. Now, it has been decided that if the final ends in a draw or tie, the team which finished at the top of the table after the end of the league stage will be declared the champion. ICC’s Test ranking will have no say in it.

    (With inputs from Sumit Josh)

    (The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

    Expand

How World Test Championship Came Into Existence?

Out of the 12 Test-playing nations, only the top nine sides are involved in the competition. These nine teams play six series each, three at home and three away. The opponents were decided on mutual arrangement and every side faced only six of the other eight sides.

Each of these series consist of two to five Test matches – as agreed by the respective cricket boards and depending on the FTP (Future Tours Program). Meaning, it is not necessary that all sides play equal number of Test matches during this two-year cycle.

To ensure uniformity, every series has 120 points riding on it, irrespective of the number of Test matches being played.

So, over the two-year cycle, a side can end up with a maximum of 720 points. At the end of the league round, the two sides with the most points would play the final in England in June 2021.

How Are The Points Decided?

As mentioned earlier, it is not necessary for the sides to play equal number of Tests during the Championship. In that regard, there is a mechanism to maintain uniformity.

Every series carries 120 points, which are equally divided among the number of Tests in a series. So, points are awarded for individual Test results and not series outcomes.

This means that in a five-match series, 24 points are available for each Test. For a four-match series, 30 points are allotted for a Test, and for a three-match and a two-match series, a maximum of 40 points and 60 points are up for grabs for every Test.

Meanwhile, a tie is worth half the points for a win and a draw earns a third of the points for a win.

Who Is Qualifying For The Final?

With Australia pulling out of their away Test series against South Africa, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for this summer’s Test Championship final – having won 70 percent of their matches.

The second finalist will be decided by the outcome of the ongoing India vs England four-match series with India; and also, Australia is still in contention to make the cut.

Explained: Who’ll Qualify For  World Test Championship Final? How?
(Graphic courtesy: ICC)

With England winning the series-opener by 227 runs in Chennai, Joe Root’s team has now moved to the first spot with 70.2 percentage points. They need the four match series to end in either a 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0 victory in their favour to make the final cut for the final.

India and Australia remain in contention for the other place along with England.

India, who have slipped to fourth position with 68.3 percentage points, cannot afford another loss in the four-match series and will be looking to win at least two of the remaining three matches to secure a 2-1 or 3-1 result and a place in the final.

Australia will get to feature in a Trans-Tasman summit clash if the India-England series is drawn or if England win 1-0, 2-1 or 2-0.

What If June's Final Ends in a Draw?

In the early stages of planning, it was decided that the final of the Test Championship will be a Timeless Test.

But later, the plan changed. Now, it has been decided that if the final ends in a draw or tie, the team which finished at the top of the table after the end of the league stage will be declared the champion. ICC’s Test ranking will have no say in it.

(With inputs from Sumit Josh)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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