Is the Edgbaston Test a must-win for India?

Virat Kohli on WTC final

Who’s still in contention, who isn’t, and who needs to do what to face off for the coveted Test mace in the World Test Championship (WTC) final next year? Here’s the lowdown.

How does England’s 3-0 win over New Zealand affect the WTC table?

England were already so far behind that even their whitewash of New Zealand doesn’t leave them with much hope of making the final. Even if they were to win their remaining Test against India, whitewash South Africa at home this summer and beat Pakistan away this fall, they would have a points percentage of just above 50.

Defending champions New Zealand were already out of contention before this series, and now slide further. The maximum points percentage they can achieve is 50.

How are India placed?

India have seven Tests to play – the remaining Test in England, four against Australia at home and two away against Bangladesh. The maximum points percentage they can reach is 74.53, which should be enough considering Australia’s percentage would drop if they were to lose to India. Losing one of the seven Tests would leave India with a percentage of 68.98 and losing two would leave them on 63.42, so there’s a lot to play for at Edgbaston.

What do leaders Australia and South Africa need to do?

Australia still have 11 Tests to play across four series – two in Sri Lanka, four in India, two at home against West Indies and three against South Africa. If they win, say, four of their five home Tests, they would need to win two Tests in Asia to reach a healthy points percentage of 65.

South Africa have tough away assignments in England and Australia and two Tests at home against West Indies. They will need to win one of those away series for a points percentage above 65.

Are Pakistan and Sri Lanka in with a shot?

Pakistan have a great chance since five of their remaining seven Tests are at home – three against England, two against New Zealand – and the two away ones are in Sri Lanka, where they won in 2015. If they can win five of seven, they will finish on a points percentage higher than 65.

Sri Lanka’s assignments are tough. They host Australia and Pakistan and play away in New Zealand. They will need to find four wins and a draw to get close to the 65 percentage points mark.

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