With six teams still in contention to feature in next year’s ICC World Test Championship final, the 2021-23 edition of the league is heading towards some brilliant, action packed final few months.
Two upcoming Test series, Australia’s two-match series against West Indies at home from November 30 and Pakistan’s three-match home series against England from December 1, will be extremely pivotal in deciding which sides stay in the mix for the final.
Here is a look at the possibilities of all these nations’ chances for the final at The Oval in England.
-Australia: 1st position, have 70 percent of possible points (highest possible finish: 84 per cent wins)
Australia squad to play West Indies: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.
A lot of Test cricket is in Australia’s remaining calendar of the championship, which will work to their advantage. However, they will face a tough Indian challenge at the Border Gavaskar Trophy in subcontinent conditions next year. They are also having home series against Windies and South Africa.
Expect Aussies to give their all to maintain their top spot in the championship standings.
-West Indies: 6th position, have 50 percent of possible points (highest possible finish: 65 per cent wins)
West Indies squad to play Australia: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Devon Thomas.
West Indies do have two series remaining. If they get positive results in two Tests each in Australia and South Africa, Windies still have a chance to qualify for next year’s final.
Though many doubt that Windies have star power and class to gain these four wins, they are still in contention.
-Pakistan: 5th position, have 51.85 percent of possible points (highest possible finish: 69 per cent of wins)
Pakistan squad to face England: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood, Saud Shakeel, Salman Agha, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Abrar Ahmed, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Nawaz, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Ali.
Pakistan will definitely be aiming to qualify for the final. This is possible if they win series against England and New Zealand at home.
In this period, Pakistan have registered only four wins in nine tests. They will have to win most of their next five Tests to sneak into next year’s summit clash.
Confidence will be high in the camp after a strong showing at ICC T20 World Cup, where they lost to England in final. The upcoming series from December 1 against England will be their chance at revenge and getting some valuable upgradation in their standings.
-England – 7th position, have 38.6 per cent of possible points (highest possible finish: 47 per cent of wins)
England squad to play Pakistan: Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed.
England is out of contention for the next year’s final but can play a spoilsport for Pakistan during the series in subcontinent conditions. The series against Pakistan is the only series England has left and the Ben Stokes-led side will be looking forward to finishing the campaign with a bang. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.