ICC board made a big announcement from the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by Anil Kumble that the "Percentage of Points" will now decide the final standings of the ongoing World Test Championship. With the new system being applied, Australia have topped the table to upstage India. The number 1 Test side is standing at the top with a points percentage of 82.2, and India stands second with a points percentage of 75.
ICC’s call came when most of the Test series was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As per the new regulations, if the match doesn’t happen or gets canceled, it will be considered a draw, and both teams will split the points. ICC is hoping to complete at least 85 percent of matches until March 2021, the last month of the Championship window.
"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," said ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.
To proceed with the World Test Championship Final in June next year, ICC made this big change. Lord’s will host the final in June 2021 as per the schedule. India has contested for more points than Australia, so automatically, Australia went ahead of it in the percentage of points. The point system will remain the same. A total of a maximum of 120 points will be contested in a series.
What’s in store for India in World Test Championship
India will play Australia next month in an away series and host England next year during February-March. India will play for a maximum of 240 points from the following two series, and the results will determine their standing on the table. New Zealand is a big threat for India as per the new system. Kiwis will host West Indies and Pakistan in a two-matches Test series. If they win all four games and grab easy 240 points, they will be in the top-two finish race.
Australia are in a safe position as they will host India at home, and due to the absence of Kohli in the last three Tests, they are entering as the favourites. Australia will also tour South Africa, and it will be their last assignment in Test Championship. England will only play against India in away-series, and they are also in the race of the finals.
Except for these four sides, other teams have no chance to make it into the finals, but they can play a major role in changing the top two teams' standings. Team India needs to win more matches in the remaining 8 matches, but the Australia series will be crucial. Their top-two finish will also depend on New Zealand’s performance against West Indies and Pakistan.
"We had to assess whether the way in which the finishing positions were determined was fair, and we decided to make a change based on the matches that the teams actually play and the percentage of points they win from those matches. The final is scheduled for June 2021 in the UK and will be proceeding as planned. The finishing positions will now be determined by the percentage of points each team wins from the matches it actually plays. That is to adjust for teams that may not be able to complete all of their series by the end of the competition window," said Geoff Allardice, the ICC General Manager.