As the final day of Border-Gavaskar Trophy series approaches on Monday in Ahmedabad, the battle for a spot in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) against Australia heats up with India and Sri Lanka still in the mix.
Virat Kohli notched up a Test century after 1,204 days to provide necessary firepower for India to take a 91-run lead after Australia posted a daunting 480 in its first innings. The Aussies are currently trailing 88 runs with Matthew Kuhnemann and Travis Head in the middle.
India’s probability of qualification took a major blow when Steve Smith-led Australia demolished the Men in Blue by nine wickets in the third Test, courtesy of a spin masterclass from Kuhnemann. India’s points percentage (PCT) dipped from 64.06 to 60.29, with its fifth defeat in 17 matches in the 2021-23 WTC cycle.
How can India qualify for the WTC final now?
India needs to win the fourth Test to qualify for the final without relying on Sri Lanka’s results.
A win in Ahmedabad will enable Rohit Sharma’s men to finish with a PCT of 62.5 and qualify ahead of Sri Lanka which can only gain a PCT of 61.11 if it manages a 2-0 series sweep over New Zealand.
Best possible finish for India: Beat Australia 3-1, finish with 135 points and a PCT of 62.5.
Worst possible finish for India: Draw to Australia 2-2, finish with 123 points and a PCT of 56.94.
How can India fail to qualify for the WTC final?
If India concedes a 2-2 or 2-1 finish to Australia, it can finish with a maximum of 127 points and a PCT of 58.79 (draw in the last match). In such a scenario, Sri Lanka can pip India and join Australia in the final if it beats New Zealand 2-0 and finish with a 61.11 PCT.