Explained: Why India has dropped to 2nd spot in ICC World Test Championship table

icc world test championship points table
Image courtesy: ICC

An altered points system was announced for the World Test Championship following an ICC board meeting yesterday. The team positions will now be determined by the percentage of points earned. Under the changed system, the WTC league standings would be determined by the percentage of points earned by teams.

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The Board approved a recommendation from the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by Anil Kumble, to change the competition terms for the event to determine how series affected by the global pandemic are accounted for on the points table.

“The unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19 means, to date, just under half of the World Test Championship matches have been played, with that estimated to rise to more than 85% by the end of the competition window,”


So how will the teams be ranked?

According to the ICC, it will be determined by the percentage of points earned from the matches played. The percentage of points (PCT) is the percentage of points won out of the total number of points contested.

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For example, India will be facing Australia in a four-Test series Down Under in December-January. Each series is allotted 120 points. So, for a four-Test series, points allotted per Test are 30, 15, and 10 for a win, tie and draw respectively.

“Both the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives Committee supported the approach of ranking teams based on completed matches and points earned as this reflects their performance and doesn’t disadvantage teams that have been unable to compete all of their matches through no fault of their own,”

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.

“We explored a whole range of options, but our members felt strongly that we should proceed as planned with the first-ever World Test Championship Final in June next year.”

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.
icc world test championship

Does the change affect India?

In an updated league table, where PCT is all-important, India has dropped to the second position in the team standings.

India were the table-toppers in the old system, with 360 points followed by Australia on 296 points. But Australia’s PCT, 0.822 (82.2%), is higher, for they have won 296 points out of 360 points contested.

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As on date, India has contested for 480 points in ICC World Test Championship, notching up 360 points. So their PCT is 0.750 (75%). The final team standings will be determined by the total number of points contested and the total percentage of points won.

The late March to May window is reserved for the Indian Premier League (IPL). As per the original schedule, each team in the ongoing WTC cycle was to play six series. But now, only India is likely to fulfill their quota, as after playing in Australia, they will host England for a five-Test series. India so far has played four series, winning three of them.

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