Fans have been eagerly waiting for a match between India and Pakistan ever since the World Test Championship (WTC) was introduced. The two arch-rivals have not played a single Test match against each other in the last 15 years.
If India and Pakistan finish as the top two teams in the World Test Championship standings, they will compete against each other in the final match. It did not materialize in the previous cycle, where India and New Zealand topped the points table, but the dream match can still happen in 2023.
Before discussing the scenarios, here’s a look at the current ICC World Test Championship points table:
Australia, South Africa, India and Pakistan are the four teams that can finish in the top 2. Sri Lanka are third right now, but they only have one series left in this cycle. The other four teams have two series each. Pakistan are currently involved in a three-match series against England, whom they trail 0-1.
A clash between India and Pakistan looks unlikely, going by the current ICC World Test Championship points table, but here’s how this dream match can still take place:
The five series that will decide the World Test Championship finalists are – India vs. Bangladesh, India vs. Australia, Pakistan vs. England, Pakistan vs. New Zealand, and South Africa vs. Australia.
For India to qualify for the WTC final, they need to win the two-match series against Bangladesh and four-match series against Australia. If India win the six Tests without any slow over rate penalties, they will finish with 68.05% points.
For Pakistan to qualify for the WTC final, they first need to up their game and win the remaining two Tests against England. They will also have to complete a 2-0 clean sweep against New Zealand later in their home season. Their points percentage will be 61.9% if they win the four Tests.
Amongst the other results needed for a Pakistan vs India WTC final, if Australia win their ongoing series against West Indies 2-0, but lose against India 0-4, their points percentage will dip significantly. But in between, they have a three-match series against South Africa. The ideal result for this series for an India vs Pakistan final will be a 2-1 or 1-0 win for Australia.
Assuming Australia win 2-0 against West Indies, beat South Africa 2-1 and lose 0-4 against India, their points percentage will come down to 57.89%. South Africa, on the other hand, will have 60% points if they lose against Australia 1-2 and win the home series against West Indies 2-0 in early 2023.
All eyes will be on these five series in the coming days. It remains to be seen which two teams out of India, Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final.
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