While the fourth Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 Test is heading towards a stalemate, India have already secured their place in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 final. A two-wicket defeat for Sri Lanka against New Zealand in Christchurch meant that Rohit Sharma’s team cannot be dethroned from the second place in the points table.
With Australia having already booked their tickets to the English capital with a victory in the third Test at Indore, India arrived in Ahmedabad with a couple of routes that led to The Oval – to either win the fourth Test, or hope that Sri Lanka does not record a 2-0 clean sweep against the Kiwis away from home.
The second criterion was fulfilled when Tim Southee’s men managed to get the better of the Lankans on Monday, 13 March. In terms of repercussions on the standings, this draw meant India now have an unassailable lead over their neighbours, as they hold on to the second place.
Sri Lanka are currently placed fourth in the standings with 64 points, and a ‘points won out of points contested percentage’ (PCT) of 48%. Even if they win the second match against the Blackcaps, the PCT of Dimuth Karunaratne’s team will rise to only 52%.
In comparison, a draw in the Ahmedabad Test will see India’s PCT dropping to 59%, with a defeat taking it to 57% – 5% ahead of Sri Lanka's maximum tally.
Top Two Test Teams to Collide at the Oval
It is the second consecutive time that the men in blue have qualified for the World Test Championship final, albeit, unlike the previous instance, they will be determined to lift the mace on this occasion. The match will be played in London’s Oval between 7-11 June.
Interestingly, the WTC final will also see the clash between the two highest-ranked Test teams across the globe. According to the latest ICC rankings, Australia are the numero uno red-ball team in men’s cricket with a rating of 126, closely followed by India