By: Shubham Ghosh
India on Monday (13) qualified for the World Test Championship (WTC) final after New Zealand, the winners of the first edition in 2021, defeated Sri Lanka by two wickets in a thrilling last-ball finish in the Christchurch game.
India will play Australia in the WTC final at The Oval, England, from June 7.
This is India’s second successive entry into the WTC final, with the previous one coming in the inaugural cycle, where they lost to New Zealand.
With the Dimuth Karunaratne-led side’s only shot at the WTC final berth hinging on a 2-0 victory against the Kiwis in the away series, the loss for the Islanders shattered their hopes of securing a spot.
Australia were the first team to secure a WTC final berth after humbling India by nine wickets in the third Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series at Indore, leaving the hosts praying for a favourable result in the first Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
The result in Christchurch took the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar series in Ahmedabad out of the equation as earlier India had to win the contest to secure the WTC final spot.
Australia are sitting atop the WTC table with 68.52 percentage points (PCT). Had Sri Lanka won the Test on Monday and strived for victory in the second match at Wellington, their PCT would have jumped from 53.33 to 61.11 — higher than India’s 60.29 before the start of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
In order to take all the scenarios out of the equation, India had to win the Ahmedabad Test — which would have taken their PCT to 62.5 — and retain their second position on the WTC table. But with New Zealand acing a record chase of 285 runs on Monday, thanks to former captain Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 121, Sri Lanka were left ruing their chances.