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WTC 2021-23 : The last round of test matches to start , find points table & team wise situation

With the  Asia Cup 2022 &  T20I World 2022 being done and dusted,  soon all the top test playing nations will be back playing test cricket as the top spots are at stake for the World test championship 2021-23 cycle .  Soon India will play a 2 test series with Bangladesh in Bangladesh,  Pakistan will lock horns with England at home , Australia will play test series vs West Indies and South Africa at home and then tour India for the much hyped  mega 4 test series that might well decide the two finalists .

Below we look at the points table and the respective possibilities of all the test playing teams for the final berth. 

image credits twitter cricketbaba5

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 Aussies will have its task cut out when it tours India for a four-match Test series early next year as they are yet to win a series in India since 2004 . Prior to that, they play West Indies (two Tests) and South Africa (three Tests) at home to improve their points tally further as they are widely expected to win both series .

South Africa
The Proteas slipped from their top spot on the WTC points table after a 1-2 series loss 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.  The Australia series will be tough one for them as their fragile batting has struggled big time in overseas tests . Hence South Africa’s progress will hinge big time on the Australia series 

Sri Lanka
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. However the Lankans who have been formidable at home ,struggles in away conditions outside Asia and hence are not much expected to progress too far . 

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. Team India can lift its PCT to a maximum of 68.05, which could be just enough to get to the final. India are favourites to win both the series since they will be played in Asian conditions and hence India has a big chance to overtake South Africa and reach their 2nd final after 2021 

Pakistan are at 5th spot with  a PCT of 51.85, They play their remaining five matches (three vs England, two vs New Zealand) in the cycle at home and  can get to a maximum of 69.05, which could take them through to the final.  Here both Pakistan and India have a bright  chance still to reach the final since they will play playing their major test matches at home  .

West Indies
West Indies faces an uphill task to reach  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 and hence their chances are extremely slim  .

England, had a great summer at home after series wins against New Zealand and South Africa and also the deferred 5th test win over India, has struck form too late in this cycle. Their chances were damaged earlier after losing 2 tests vs India at home and then getting drubbed 4-0 in the Ashes in Australia . With a PCT of 38.6, it has just three away Tests against Pakistan left and so are virtually out of the race 

New Zealand
The 2021 WTC champion is tottering at 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. The Kiwis can only hope to get to 48.72,  which won’t be enough for the reigning champions 

Bangladesh finds itself at the bottom of the table with a PCT of 13.33 and with just the two home Tests against a strong  India left to play, they are already out of the race .

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