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Update World Test Championship: How Team India can stay in contention for Lord's final?

Besides the much-celebrated rivalry, the famous Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and the fight for the coveted No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings, the impending India-Australia Test series will have another feather to add to its specialty. With New Zealand whitewashing West Indies at home with a win on Monday, the Black Caps are emerging as a threat for Australia and India in the race to the Lord's final for the inaugural World Test Championship trophy.

Here is how the present table looks...

[Image: arLTzJQ.png]

New Zealand, who had their Bangladesh away series postponed owing to the pandemic, have one more Test series to play in this cycle later in December, against Pakistan at home. If they can manage a win of a similar fashion as against West Indies, they will secure 420 points which will leave their win percentage at 70. Although they will still stand in the third spot, according to the new points format for qualification which has been introduced by the ICC owing to a large number of matches being cancelled during the pandemic, the subsequent rise in their win percentage in the tournament will mean Australia and India will have a task cut out to maintain the top-two spots and stay in the fray for the Lord's final in June next year.

How Team India can stay in contention for race to Lord's final?
Considering New Zealand can at the most finish with a win percentage of 70, India will be aiming to stay ahead of that number to stand a chance of heading to the final. Virat Kohli's men have two more Test series to play - of four matches each - against Australia and England - implying a total of 720 points that India will play for. To stay ahead of New Zealand, India need to finish with 510 points, 150 points more than their present tally of 360, which will leave them with a win percentage of 70.83.

A four-match contest means each victory will give the winning side 30 points and 10 for draw. In a bid to finish ahead of New Zealand, India need to bag a maximum of five wins from their next eight games, or four wins and three draws.

India will be more confident about the home series against England given their invincibility on home soil. But that would mean that much would depend on the Australia series that begins from December 17 where India will be without Virat Kohli for three Tests and Ishant Sharma for the entire. They need to avoid a whitewash and look to bag at least one win.


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