The schedule of ICC World Test Championship has been heavily affected by the corona virus pandemic. It is unlikely to have all the missed matches rescheduled before the championship finals in June 2021 at Lords. With the uncertainty around, ICC has finally revised the methodology of how the tournament finalists will be decided.
The Revised Methodology
Instead of the total points scored, the finalists will now be decided by the percentage of the point scored. This implies the standings will be now less reliant on total points scored and more on total points scored per series. The updated methodology has brought slight changes to the current standings but is less likely to impact the overall outcome of the series.
In the updated standings Australia has gone up in the table with 82.2% of total points, while India despite of having scored more points are second in the standings.
What next for the the teams?
Australia , seemingly on a comfortable spot at the top of the table, having missed their Bangladesh series, have their two remaining series at Home against India and away against South Africa. Even if they managed to get 150-odd points from their remaining 2 series (240 points), they will be getting more than 74% which is still impossible for England at the third of the table, even if they win all the matches.
India standing on the second of the table with 75% of points are on a tricky position as their remaining games are against Australia and England. Out of their 240 remaining points, they will be certainly qualifying if they managed 150 odds of remaining games.
England on the 3rd of the table with 60.83% of the points, have their remaining series against India and Sri Lanka. For them New Zealand need to stay behind them and they can qualify with 65% of the total points, if they managed to win the India series. Else, if they are looking for a sure shot qualification, they need to win all of their remaining games.
New Zealand’s remaining games are against West Indies and Pakistan. They, had their series against Bangladesh missed due to pandemic and are currently at fourth with 50% of points. They will be seeking out to win most of the games and hope for the best, The results of top 3 will affect their path ahead a lot.
Pakistan had their three and a half series, having their half of the Bangladesh series missed due to the pandemic. They are currently at the 5th of the table with 39.52% of the points. They will be hoping to win most of their matches and hoping for the top-3’s result to go their way. But that might be a difficult job since they have their remaining series against SA and NZ.
Sri Lanka missed couple of series, of which the one against England is scheduled to take place in 2021. They have their other series against SA and West Indies. They will be looking to win most of their remaining games, and hope for the best to qualify. having only played two of the series they have slightly better chance than Pakistan for qualification.
West Indies and South Africa:
West Indies with 16.67% an South Africa with 10% are on 7th and 8th of the table, both of them have remaining series each, having missed the the one against each other. Almost out of the tournament both teams can still qualify if they white washed the remaining series.
Bangladesh missed their three and a half series during the pandemic, having low hopes of those happening and currently being on zero points after one and a half series, Bangladesh are out of the tournament. They still have a scheduled series against West Indies. They will be looking to win the remaining few matches.
We will have a a clearer picture of who will qualify and what will happen after next couple of month, and the next few series are going to be a pivot on which way the tournament will go.