World Test Championship: How are points calculated? How can India qualify?

The idea of World Test Championship(WTC) was something that struck ICC probably a long ago, but they weren’t able to implement it due to packed schedules.

But with of the Champions Trophy being scrapped off, the WTC came into existence and gave the bilateral Test series more context. The WTC began from the first Test of 2019 Ashes.

How many series/matches/points?

There are 6 series scheduled for every team against 6 different teams, out of which 3 are home, and 3 are away. Each series can have a maximum of 120 points. Out of the 9 participants in the WTC, each team plays against 6 other teams.

A match win has points distributed as per the length of the series. For instance, if it’s a 5 match series, then a win gives 120/5 = 24 points. A tied match gives half the points as a win, whereas a draw match gives one-third points of a winning match. A loss gives 0 points.

Matches in seriesPoints for a winPoints for a tiePoints for a drawPoints for a defeat
26030200
34020130
43015100
5241280

Due to the postponement of few of the series, ICC has decided to not take the total number of points as a consideration, and rather consider the number of points secured by a team per the number of points available.

For example- if a team wins three series by winning all the matches, then the number of points won= 360, and available points= 360. Therefore, PCT (percentage) calculated= 1.

Over Rates

Earlier, the captain of the fielding team was fined for slow over-rate and could be banned for multiple offences.

But in the WTC, ICC felt that the entire team is responsible for the over rate, rather than the captain alone. So, for slow over rates, points get deducted from the team’s tally in the WTC.

Till now, South Africa and Australia have got their 6 and 4 points deducted respectively.

The Schedule

(Updated to match(es) played on 14 December 2020 | Source: Wikipedia)

This is the schedule, some of the series have been removed from the WTC due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final would be held between the 2 top ranked teams in the WTC standings, at the Lord’s in England on June 2021.

Qualification Scenarios

The table has as many as 4 teams competing for the top 2 spots for the final at Lords.

So, what do India, England, Australia, NZ need to do from here to be in the contention for the ticket to final? Let’s have a look in the qualification scenarios.

Australia: 

Embed from Getty Images

Completed: Points Contested: 450 || Points Earned: 332 || PCT: 73.8%

Pending: Yet to Contest: 30 vs India & 120 vs SA 

Australia currently are at no. 1 with a PCT of 73.8%.

Looking at the pending matches for Australia, Gabba is their fortress. The match in Sydney has resulted in a draw. Post the series against India, Australia has a tour of South Africa where they will be playing 3 matches.

Australia can maybe win a match and draw one in the series against SA. If they’re able to do so, they would be in the finals.

New Zealand: 

Embed from Getty Images

Completed: Points Contested: 600 || Points Earned: 420 || PCT: 70.0 %

New Zealand’s win in the series against Pakistan has given them a great hope of qualifying for the finals. They currently have 420 points and a PCT of 70%, they have completed their matches, and now only need to wait for matches of other teams to decide their fate.

England: 

Embed from Getty Images

Completed: Points Contested: 480 || Points Earned: 292 || PCT: 60.8%

Pending: Yet to Contest: 240 (120 vs SL & 120 vs India)

England faces a herculean task ahead. They currently have 292 points and a PCT of 60.8. With two away series left, it is almost next to impossible for England to qualify for the finals. They need to whitewash the opponent in both the series, to qualify. If they are able to do so, it would be probably the greatest performance from England in recent times. 

Looking at the pending matches for England, they have 2 matches against Sri Lanka. Against India, winning at home wouldn’t be easy. Hence, their chances of qualification for the finals are bleak.

India: 

Embed from Getty Images

Completed: Points Contested: 580 || Points Earned: 400 || PCT: 70.2%

Pending: Yet to contest 150 (30 vs Aus, and 120 vs England)

The away series against Australia is a crucial one for Team India. While they started with a loss, they bounced back strongly to level the series at 1-1, and the next match resulted in a draw.

India currently have 390 points from 540 points; making the PCT of 72.2%. India now have 2 Away Tests vs Australia and 4 Home Tests vs England.

For India to qualify, they must win at least 4 Tests as that would mean they would end up at a PCT of 70.8%; that’s just above New Zealand’s 70%. If they win 3 and are able to draw the other 3, they can still qualify for the final with a PCT of 70.8%. 

Team India Prediction: Points: 520 || PCT%: 72.2%


Now a lot depends on how India performs in the final match against Australia, if they lose the last game against Australia, they’ll be in a do-or-die situation.

The series between SA and Australia, will be a critical series for Australia’s hopes. I’m expecting a final between India vs Australia at the Lord’s.

Which teams do you expect in the finals? Share with us in the comments section below.

Featured Image: ICC | Instagram

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