India seals WTC 2023 final spot after New Zealand defeats Sri Lanka in first Test

India cannot slip below the second spot in WTC points table after Sri Lanka's loss to New Zealand.

India cannot slip below the second spot in WTC points table | GettyThanks to New Zealand’s amazing last-ball 2-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first of the two-Test series in Christchurch, India has qualified for the final of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC 2023) and will meet Australia at the Oval in London on June 7.

With India leading 2-1 in the four-Test series against Australia and the fourth and final Test meandering towards a draw, the Rohit Sharma-led side needed New Zealand to win against Sri Lanka in one of the two Tests.

A draw for India in the fourth Test and a 2-0 series win for Sri Lanka over New Zealand would’ve meant that Dimuth Karunaratne and co. would qualify for the final.

But on day five of both the Tests- in Christchurch and in Ahmedabad, all results were possible. However, New Zealand, thanks to centuries by Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson pulled off an amazing victory and eliminated Sri Lanka from the race for the final.

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Now, following their loss in Christchurch, even if Sri Lanka wins the next Test, they will only go up to 52.78 points. That will be lower than India's 56.94 even if India goes on to lose the Ahmedabad Test.

If they draw - as looks most likely - India will finish on 58.80. Australia has already qualified: even if they lose in Ahmedabad, they will end with a percentage of 64.91.

Australia has been stellar with an 11-3 win-loss record so far, with series wins against England, West Indies and South Africa (home), and Pakistan (away). They have also drawn a series in Sri Lanka (1-1) and might suffer their only series defeat to India in the ongoing series, assuming the ongoing fourth Test ends in a draw or India wins.

India has a 10-5 record in this cycle, with series wins against New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Australia (assuming they win or draw in Ahmedabad) at home, and Bangladesh away. They drew in 2-2 in England and suffered the only series loss to South Africa 2-1.   

(ICC/ESPNCricinfo inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 13 Mar, 2023

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