How Pakistan's defeat to England aids India's WTC final chances

A look at the current World Test Championship 2023 scenarios, following England’s series clinching 26-run over Pakistan in Multan on Monday, December 12.
The WTC 2023 final will be played at The Oval in June next year.

Pakistan’s 26-run defeat to England in the second of three Tests of the ongoing series has made standings interesting in the ongoing World Test Championship 2023 cycle. Pakistan have now slipped to No.6 in the WTC points table, with a point percentage (PCT) of 42.42%.

They will now need to clean-sweep New Zealand in the two-match home-series at home later this season, while hoping for other results to go their way to have any chance of a top-two finish from the current precarious position.

Meanwhile, England, West Indies, New Zealand and Bangladesh are mathematically out of the race, while Sri Lanka stands, currently placed third with 53.33% PCT, stand a narrow chance with two away Tests in New Zealand remaining, to be played in March.

Australia, having swept West Indies 2-0 at home recently, have consolidated their top position in the points table with a 75% PCT, and are in firm contention alongside South Africa and India, who are second and fourth in the standings currently.

How does Pakistan's defeat to England aid India's WTC 2023 final chances?

Pakistan’s defeat in the second Test in Multan has virtually knocked them out of the race to the top-two finish in the WTC cycle, thereby enhancing India’s chances, whom they were trailing narrowly at the start of the series.

India will face Bangladesh in a two-match Test series, beginning Wednesday, December 14, before the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia at home in February-March. They now need to win five of their remaining six Tests to ensure a top-two finish and a qualification to the WTC final. A defeat would leave their hopes hanging by the thread.

Should India beat Bangladesh 2-0, their 4-0, 3-1 or 3-0 winning result against Australia would affect the latter’s positioning in the table, more so, if they don’t get the desired outcome in the upcoming three-match series against South Africa at home, beginning Saturday, December 17.

Interestingly, Australia is the last team to beat India in a home Test, having done so in Pune in 2017.

The Australia vs South Africa series holds much significance to the two teams and India in the race to the finals, with the Proteas, who currently have a PCT of 60, to play West Indies in two Tests at home in the final assignment of the ongoing cycle.