Australia confirm World Test Championship final spot

DUBAI: Following their comprehensive win by nine wickets in the third Test against India, Australia secured their spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final, scheduled from June 7 to 11 at the Oval, London.

Australia won 11 out of the 18 Tests played during the 2021-23 WTC cycle and became the first team to qualify for the final with a competition still wide open for the second spot.

The visitors bounced back forcefully in the third Test and made India taste their own medicine as they sealed the victory in just three days on the back of a phenomenal spin attack.

Australia folded India for 109 on day one with spinner Matthew Kuhnemann leading the charge with five wickets. In reply, they made a solid start before collapsing to 197 all out before lunch on day two with their last six wickets tumbling for just 11 runs.

Eight wickets for spinner Nathan Lyon saw India bundled out for 163 in their second innings, setting up a victory target of 76 which they chased easily for the loss of opener Usman Khawaja on day three.

“That victory has helped Australia amass an impressive 68.52 of their possible WTC points,” said International Cricket Council in a media release on Friday, adding, “They will finish the current period in first place on the World Test Championship standings regardless of the result in the final Test of their ongoing series against India.”

India, who are still second on the standings with 60.29 points, will seal the WTC final spot if they win the fourth Test against Australia in Ahmedabad. However, another defeat or a draw will leave their chances dependent on the remaining fixtures of the outgoing cycle.

“Sri Lanka have two Tests to play away from home against New Zealand this month and know they have to complete a 2-0 series sweep over the Kiwis to have any chance of snatching a spot in the WTC Final,” ICC added.

Remaining ICC World Test Championship Fixtures

South Africa v West Indies (Second Test) – Johannesburg, South Africa, 8-12 March
New Zealand v Sri Lanka (First Test) – Christchurch, New Zealand, 9-13 March
India v Australia (Fourth Test) – Ahmedabad, India, 9-13 March
New Zealand v Sri Lanka (Second Test) – Wellington, New Zealand, 17-21 March

READ: Tests in Pakistan ‘boring’, says Rohit after India lost inside three days