Following their 2-1 series win over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series, India have reached the World Test Championship final for the second time. They will face their recent opponents in the final in June and, after losing to New Zealand in 2021, will be hungry for victory.
Sri Lanka had been hoping they would pip South Africa and neighbours India to the final but, after being hampered by rain, they were then unable to bowl out New Zealand on day five of the Test in Christchurch, meaning they will not earn enough WTC points to beat India’s win percentage.
India began their 2021-23 campaign in England, taking a 2-1 lead in the series before the fifth and final Test was postponed until 2022 due to Covid. Despite going on to lose the fourth match, India had triumphed in home series against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before meeting Australia recently.
Australia, on the other hand, beat Pakistan 1-0; drew with Sri Lanka, defeated West Indies 2-0 (including a win of 419 runs in one match) and their recent 2-1 loss to India in order to reach June’s final.
With a few months to go before the two Test heavyweights battle it out for World Championship glory, here is all you need to know about the World Test Championship...
When is the World Test Championship?
The one-off series will take place between 7June and 11 June (if all five days are required) and will be held at the Kia Oval, Surrey’s home ground. The Oval beat out Lord’s to host the final due to pre-existing commercial agreements at Lord’s which had proven to be problematic.
The Home of Cricket lost out on hosting the 2019-21 championship final due to Covid-19 and the match was then played at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl, a bio-secure location. This year, however, Lord’s have once again lost out as the ICC requires a ‘clean’ venue for its own sponsors and partners.
The final two days of the Test match have sold out but there are still remaining tickets available for the first three days. Go to the World Test Championship website to find out more.
How to watch the World Test Championship
Sky Sports will cover the Test final in June in keeping with their coverage of remaining the home of ICC cricket in the UK. In January 2023, Sky Sports signed a deal which will see them carry on having exclusive rights to ICC cricket in the UK and Ireland until 2031.
Who are the current World Test champions?
New Zealand are the current holders of the World Test Championship. Kane Williamson’s team beat India in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship in 2021. Williamson’s side chased down a target of 139 in Southampton which was enough to clinch the title and India will now hope to win the trophy in the second time of asking.
What is the leaderboard?
The two teams to go through to the final are those who have accumulated the highest win percentage from the Tests they have played in the last two years. Here are the points and win percentages of each team
- Australia - 157 points, 66.67%
- India - 127 points, 58.8%
- South Africa - 100 points, 55.56%
- Sri Lanka - 64 points
- England - 124 points, 46.97%
- Pakistan - 64 points, 381.%
- West Indies - 54 points, 34.62%
- New Zealand - 48 points, 33.33%
- Bangladesh - 16 points, 11.11%