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  4. Explained: How many points does each team need to make it to the WTC final 2025?

Explained: How many points does each team need to make it to the WTC final 2025?

The race for the World Test Championship final has heated up after India and Australia sealed their respective series wins against England and New Zealand. India, Australia and New Zealand currently acquire the top three spots but this could change in the coming months.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: March 12, 2024 7:09 IST
India and Australia acquire the top two spots currently in
Image Source : ICC X India and Australia acquire the top two spots currently in the World Test Championship standings

India and Australia, the finalists of the second World Test Championship cycle with their respective series wins against England and New Zealand look set for yet another summit clash opposite each other. India are currently at the top of the table with a points percentage (PCT) of 68.51 while Australia are in second place with 62.5 after beating New Zealand 2-0.

Most of the teams have at least three more series remaining in the current 2023-25 cycle, some including South Africa have even four while Australia have just two left. Here's a detailed look at where all the nine teams stand as per their PCT and where they need to be and where they can be after the end of the current cycle keeping in mind their remaining fixtures, in their attempt to make it to the WTC final. Take a look-

Australia

With six wins in seven games in the current Test summer, Australia have given themselves the best chance to make it to the WTC final for the second time in a row. With a PCT of 62.5 currently, Australia just have to maintain the same and looking at their fixtures, they have a golden chance. Out of their seven remaining Tests (5 vs India at home, 2 vs Sri Lanka away), even if they win four, they should be comfortable. 

Four wins, three losses will keep their PCT to 60.5. A draw, a couple of losses and four wins will increase their PCT to 62.2 while after five wins, it will reach 65.78. Hence, they could seal the final berth in the India series itself, even before their final assignment of the current cycle.

India 

More than Australia, India are in even commanding position to seal the WTC final spot for third time on the bounce. Having sealed the England series 4-1, India are currently at the top of the standings with a PCT of 68.51 and even if it slips down to somewhere around 60, the two-time finalists should be able to seal their berth.

With 10 matches remaining, India need to win six of them to confirm their place. Five wins should also do the job as the last time, India made it to the final with 58.8 PCT and this time 5/10 wins will keep it around that margin. A sixth win will be safety as their PCT then will be 64. Five wins are a must for India. One more win or a draw or two would seal the deal.

South Africa

Having played just four Tests in the ongoing cycle, South Africa didn't do themselves a favour by sending a B team to New Zealand and the 0-2 result was always on the cards despite the fight from the rookies in the second game. The Proteas now find themselves in a strange situation. They can't afford to drop even a single game yet they have the best chance to be able to do so given the scheduling.

South Africa play Pakistan and Sri Lanka at home and are scheduled to face Bangladesh and the West Indies away. South Africa's fate could very well depend upon the five-match India-Australia series. Firstly, they have to win at least six games but ensure that they are losing only once in the remaining eight matches. A 7th win will be ideal as it would take their PCT to 66.67, but even if there's a draw, it will be in the 60s (61.11) and their qualification might come down to India and Australia's positions. But still, if South Africa play with their full squad, they have the golden chance of making it to the WTC final this time around.

New Zealand

The inaugural World Test Champions, New Zealand find themselves in a tricky position after losing 0-2 to Australia. Their PCT has dropped considerably from 75 to 50 after two games and that has left them needing to win six games out of their eight remaining. 

The Kiwis have to play Sri Lanka and India away and England at home. Hence, the scheduling is also not easy for New Zealand and that means they will have to win at least three of those five games in the sub-continent to get their PCT to 64.28 if they do whitewash England on their home soil. But can they do all of those things? Looks tough!

India Tv - Pat Cummins and Tim Southee after Australia's 2-0 win against New Zealand

Image Source : GETTYPat Cummins and Tim Southee after Australia's 2-0 win against New Zealand

Pakistan and West Indies 

Both Pakistan and West Indies are sailing in almost identical boats. West Indies have won one and drawn one and have a PCT of 33.33 after four games while Pakistan's stands at 36.66 after two wins in five matches.

Both teams have 9 games remaining including two against each other and have to win at least seven of them. Pakistan has to win seven games minimum to get their PCT to 63 but home series against England and away against South Africa won't be easy assignments. For West Indies, away tours of England and Pakistan await while they host the Proteas at home. Even though the young side did wonders Down Under, they have to go through a sea of fire to stand a chance.

England

Among the top teams, England have the toughest road ahead. The 19-point deduction during the Ashes didn't help and now the 1-4 loss to India has multiplied their problems. England are in a must-win situation now with a PCT of 21 after 10 matches and need to win all their remaining 12 matches. If that happens, their PCT will be 62.5 but if they drop even one game, which is a likely possibility as they are set to face Pakistan and New Zealand away, they will be out of the WTC final race for the third time in a row.

Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka are yet to open their account in the current WTC cycle with two losses in as many matches as part of the only series they have played thus far. Sri Lanka have five series remaining including a couple of them at home against New Zealand and Australia but two of the toughest overseas tours in England and South Africa as well. Out of the 11 remaining matches, Sri Lanka have to win at least eight of them, if not more. 

Eight wins means they have to win at least two of the five Tests combined in England and South Africa, given their home track record remains undefeated.  That will take their PCT to 61.5.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh, on the other hand, have a win under their belt after a 1-1 series draw against the Kiwis but are in a similar position as Sri Lanka needing to win seven out of their remaining 10 games including a couple of them next month against the Asian rivals only. Bangladesh are scheduled to tour India, West Indies and Pakistan and play South Africa at home.

The schedule isn't as easy but not that difficult too for Bangladesh and if they win six games out of those 10 left, Bangladesh's PCT will be 58.33. They could get it over 60 with a draw or two but ideally one more win should be ideal to get their PCT over and above 60.

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