Xtra Time Web Desk: With Australia guarantying a place in the final of the World Test Championship at the Oval in June, it will be between India and Sri Lanka who will be their opponent. Rohit Sharma and his boys are now in a must win situation in the fourth and final test against Australia at Ahmedabad to qualify for the WTC final.
Coming into this series, India had to win three out of the four Tests in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to have a chance of realizing their WTC aspirations. India looked on course to be in the WTC final after the convincing wins over the Aussies in first two test matches in Nagpur and Delhi.
However, Australia under stand-in captain Steve Smith made a convincing comeback to record a comprehensive 9 wicket victory on a turning track in Indore. They bowled India out for 109 and 163 in both innings and managed to outclass the home team in all departments to land a blow and set the stage for a showpiece game in the final Test in Ahmedabad.
What if India loses the final test and the series ends at 2-2?
Even in such a scenario, India will be well-placed to book a berth in the WTC final. However, they will have hope Sri Lanka don’t win 2-0 against New Zealand in their series starting on March 9. The Lankans placed third in the WTC standings, will have to defeat the Kiwis in both Tests in their own backyard to pip India for a place in the WTC finals.
What if the third Test ends in a draw and the series ends at 2-1?
India’s winning percentage will drop to 59 percent if the series ends at 2-1 if the final game results in a draw. However, even then, Sri Lanka’s only chance of surpassing India in the WTC final will be if they beat New Zealand 2-0.
So, regardless of all circumstances, India is set to make a consecutive appearance in the WTC final. Irrespective of the result of the next game, it is highly improbable that the Lankans will whitewash New Zealand in alien conditions. Cricket is a game of many uncertainties but the odds are stacked in India’s favor despite the loss in Indore. However, they will hope to erase any prospects of a slip-up by overcoming Australia in Ahmedabad.