ICC World Test Championship: COVID-19 concerns over WTC final in Lord’s, Hampshire put on standby as 4 teams vie for final 2 spots; Check out scenarios

ICC World Test Championship: COVID-19 concerns over WTC final in Lord’s: With COVID-19 concerns over the WTC final at Lord’s, ICC is expected to shift the red-ball showpiece to Ageas Bowl, Hampshire, according to a DailyMail report. Rod Bransgrove, the county’s chairman, believes that the Ageas Bowl’s bio-bubble is unrivalled following the experience with England this summer.

According to the report, switch the location would lessen the COVID-19 risk for the final. The on-site hotel at the Ageas Bowl is still acting as a location for key workers and some other contractors whose work requires a bio-secure environment.

“I understand that a decision is imminent,’ Bransgrove told DailyMail. ‘It’s difficult to imagine that any ground other than Lord’s would be appointed for such a prestigious event, but if there is still some concern about bio-security and related issues then we’ll put our best foot forward and we’ll do everything we can to stage it.

If we can have it we would do a great job — we’ve made that clear. The work done here and at Old Trafford was a lifesaver for English cricket last summer.”

ICC is expected to make a decision on it in the coming days.

Meanwhile, three teams have a realistic chance and one with an outside possibility to play the WTC final in June.

ICC World Test Championship: What is the current scenario?

India have opened up the WTC point table with a series win at Down Under and are currently at the top spot. New Zealand, with no more Test series left, wait anxiously at the second place as India face England and Australia take on South Africa.

World Test Championship points table

Rank Team PCT Points Series Played Matches RpW
1 India 71.67% 430 5 13 1.62
2 New Zealand 70.00% 420 5 11 1.28
3 Australia 69.17% 332 4 14 1.39
4 England 65.19% 352 5* 16 1.24
5 South Africa 40.00% 144 3 9 0.68
6 Pakistan 30.74% 166 4.5 10 0.72
7 Sri Lanka 19.05% 80 4* 7 0.57
8 West Indies 11.11% 40 3 7 0.49
9 Bangladesh 0.00% 0 1.5 3 0.35

 

The series between India and England is of four Tests, and each win would fetch 30 points, while a draw 10 points. South Africa versus Australia series has three matches and a win would get 40 points and a draw 13 points. Anything can happen in the upcoming series’, So here are the scenarios:

ICC World Test Championship: How can India qualify for WTC final?

With a historic win at the Gabba, India now have some breathing space. India are at the helm of WTC standing with 430 points which gives them a PCT of 71.67%. To confirm the WTC final spot they need to reach 505 points. For it to happen, India will have to win the Test series against England by a margin of 4-0 or 3-0 or 3-1 or 2-0.

ICC World Test Championship: How can New Zealand qualify for WTC final?

New Zealand are done with their Test assignment and sit at the second place with 70.00% (420 points). In order for them to qualify, they would hope that two of India, England or Australia finish below 70pct.

For England to overtake New Zealand, they need to win the second Test against Sri Lanka and then either by 4-0 or 3-0 margins in India.

ICC World Test Championship: How can Australia qualify for WTC final?

A series defeat against India at home has put pressure on Australia who will now be heading to South Africa for a three-Test series. They currently have 69.16% (332 points) and if the scheduled tour to South Africa gets cancelled due to flying restrictions in wake of COVID-19, they will finish third and miss the WTC spot, unless England pull a rabbit out their hat to defeat India at home. For Australia to qualify without depending on other results, they would need series wins by a 3-0 or 2-0 margin against South Africa.

ICC World Test Championship: How can England qualify for WTC final?

England will be in contention with an outside chance. For the Three Lions to qualify, they need to beat Sri Lanka in second Test at Galle, then clean sweep India and hope Australia does not win the series in South Africa.

A tie would change the equations considerably as it would mean the participating sides would get 50% of the points for that particular match compared to 33% for a draw. Points docked for slow-over rate could also, bring in a change in equations as the prospective margin between India, Australia and New Zealand look very fine at the moment.