Following South Africa’s nine-wicket defeat to England in the third Test at the Oval in London on Monday, here is a look at the World Test Championship (WTC) points table and scenarios for qualifying for the final.
Six teams are mathematically still in the race for a spot in the summit clash.
India is currently placed fourth on the WTC points table with a PCT of 52.08. With two away Tests against Bangladesh and four Tests against Australia at home next year left to play, Rohit Sharma’s side can lift its PCT to a maximum of 68.05, which could be just enough to scrape through to the final.
Australia tops the WTC points table with a PCT (percentage of points) of 70 and is well-placed to reach its maiden final. However, the Pat Cummins-led side will have its task cut out when it tours India for a four-match Test series early next year. Before that, it plays West Indies (two Tests) and South Africa (three Tests) at home.
The Proteas slipped from their top spot on the WTC points table after a 1-2 series defeat to England. However, with a PCT of 60, it is in a strong position to make the final. Its tour of Australia (three Tests) and two Test at home against West Indies will be crucial in determining the final places.
Sri Lanka, third with a PCT of 53.33, has just two away Tests against New Zealand left in this WTC cycle. Victory in both Tests, which will raise its PCT to 61.11, will be crucial for Sri Lanka if it wants to stay alive in the race for the final.
Placed fifth with a PCT of 51.85, Pakistan plays its remaining five matches (three vs England, two vs New Zealand) in the cycle at home. It can get to a maximum of 69.05, which could be enough for a spot in the final.
West Indies faces an uphill task as it vies for a berth in the final. With a PCT of 50.00, it plays two Tests in Australia and two in South Africa with no matches left at home.
England, which is enjoying a golden summer at home after series wins against New Zealand and South Africa, has struck form too late in this cycle. With a PCT of 38.6, it has just three away Tests against Pakistan left and won’t have anything more than pride to play for.
The 2021 WTC champion is languishing on eighth position on the points table with a PCT of 25.93, and, with two away Tests against Pakistan and two at home against Sri Lanka, New Zealand can only hope to get to 48.72, which wil not be enough for a top-two finish.
Despite a historic victory in New Zealand, Bangladesh finds itself at the bottom of the table with a PCT of 13.33 and with just the two home Tests against India left to play, the Tigers’ campaign is all but over.