By: Shubham Ghosh
India’s chances to make it to the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) received a blow on Friday (3) when Australia hammered them by nine wickets on a viciously turning pitch at the Holkar Stadium in Indore to make the four-game series 2-1 with one to go.
The win saw Australia, led by Steve Smith in the absence of regular captain Pat Cummins who flew home after the second Test match in Delhi due to family reasons, qualifying for the WTC final by clinching the 11th win in 18 outings in the 2021-23 cycle of the WTC.
India, who are placed second in the WTC points table at the moment, saw their percentage points slumping from 64.06 to 60.29 after what was their fifth defeat in 17 matches in the current cycle.
The Asian side, which ended up as the runners-up in the previous WTC by losing to New Zealand in the final, needs to beat Australia in the final Test match of the series in Ahmedabad starting Thursday (9). If they fail, then Rohit Sharma’s men will have to rely on the outcomes of Sri Lanka’s upcoming away Test series against the Kiwis.
Sri Lanka, who have a percentage point of 53.33, are the only other team in the contention to make the final which will be played at the Oval, England, from June 12.
A win in the match in Ahmedabad will see India finishing with 62.5 percentage points which will put them beyond the reach of the Lankans who can reach a maximum of 61.11 if they win both the Tests in the series against New Zealand.
A loss or even a draw would see India finishing at 58.79 percentage points which the Asian islanders could pip and set up a title round date with the Australians.