India who were considered the favorites to join New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) were shocked by England in the first Test of the four-match series in India. The result has now thrown the scenarios to qualify for the final wide open. Australia are also in contention for the final and although they don’t have a series to play, they will make it if results go their way in the ongoing series between India and England.
Back in India, the hosts found themselves on the back foot right from the very beginning of the first Test as they lost the toss and had to witness a long innings by England led by skipper Joe Root’s double hundred. India could not avoid the follow-on total in the first innings but England chose not to enforce it and got bowled out for 178 to give India a target of 420. India fell short of the target by 227 runs.
Scenarios for India, England and Australian to qualify for World Test Championship final
World Test Championship Table
India have dropped to the 4th spot from the top of the table due to the loss and from now on, each Test will be crucial. In the remaining three Tests, India can’t afford to lose a single one. Further, they’ll also have to win at least two matches. Therefore, one of two scenarios would be enough for them to qualify: a 2-1 series win or a 3-1 series win.
For England, the equation is very simple: they’ll have to win two more matches in the series. Therefore, a 3-0, 3-1 or a 4-0 scoreline in the Test series would see them through. If none of the aforesaid happen, i.e. if the series ends 1-1, 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, then Australia would join their trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the final of the event at Lord’s.
It will thus be all to play for India and England in the remaining three Tests with the next one scheduled in Chennai and the final two in Ahemadabad.