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World Test Championship

Who needs what in the six-way tussle to reach the 2023 World Test Championship final

South Africa captain Dean Elgar, India captain Rohit Sharma and Australia captain Pat Cummins, all in the hunt to make the 2023 World Test Championship (WTC) final
Ben Gardner by Ben Gardner
@Ben_Wisden 4 minute read

After a period without Test cricket, the 2021-23 World Test Championship has entered its final stretch.

December will see every WTC side barring Sri Lanka in Test action, and there are still six teams in contention to make the WTC final. 2021 WTC winners New Zealand, as well as England and Bangladesh, have all fallen too far behind in the race.

As a reminder, the WTC table is ranked by points won per points contested (PCT), due to each team playing differing numbers of games. With 12 points available for a win and four for a draw, a teams total points won is divided by their maximum points total, had they won all their games, to reach a PCT figure. Teams can also lose points if they fall behind the minimum over rate in a given fixture.


Here is how things stand and who needs what to make the 2023 World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval.

Who needs what to make the 2023 World Test Championship final


Current PCT: 70.00
Max PCT: 84.21
Series: West Indies (home, two Tests), South Africa (home, three Tests), India (away, four Tests)

Australia still have three of their six series left to play and are currently in a dominant position in their first Test against West Indies. If they win all nine games, they will be guaranteed to make the final.

If Australia clean-sweep their home summer, or win four and draw one, they can even afford to get whitewashed by India. Such a scenario would see the Aussies on 63.16 PCT, with West Indies, South Africa (who both play Australia) and Sri Lanka all unable to reach that mark. Pakistan would need to, at worst, win four Tests and draw the other to overtake Australia’s tally.

However, any ground lost to South Africa in particular would leave Australia in danger. If they lose one to the Proteas and fail to win one or draw two in India, then a 2-0 win for South Africa over West Indies would see Dean Elgar’s side make the World Test Championship final.

South Africa

Current PCT: 60.00
Max PCT: 73.33
Series: Australia (away, three Tests), West Indies (home, two Tests)

As the above makes clear, South Africa need something from the Australia tour to keep their World Test Championship hopes alive. If they win a game Down Under, then a 2-0 win in the West Indies would leave Australia needing a better-than-expected, though not implausible result in India.

If the Proteas beat Australia 2-1 and beat West Indies 2-0, they will be on 66.67 PCT, enough to make the WTC final unless Pakistan clean-sweep their home series, something which looks unlikely given the ongoing run-fest in Rawalpindi.


Current PCT: 52.08
Max PCT: 68.06
Series: Bangladesh (away, two Tests), Australia (home, four Tests)

India have stumbled through their campaign so far, drawing a Test at home to New Zealand, drawing away in England and losing in South Africa. Given they don’t play South Africa and Pakistan, India need other results to go their way to make the WTC final, but remain well placed. They only need Pakistan to draw once or South Africa to lose once to have destiny back in their hands, and they will feel confident ahead of series against Bangladesh and Australia.

There is some margin for error in the latter too, with defeats for India less damaging than for South Africa and Pakistan, due to India playing more Tests overall. If they lose one against Australia but win the rest, they will still be ahead of Pakistan if they also lose one and win the rest of their games.


Current PCT: 51.85
Max PCT: 69.05
Series: England (home, three Tests), New Zealand (home, two Tests)

Pakistan will need to overcome a less-than-dominant home record to make the WTC final. Draws have been commonplace in the country since Test cricket’s resumption, but Pakistan will need to string together several wins to be in contention.

Even if they win four and draw one, they will be in danger of being overtaken by both Australia and India if they clean-sweep their respective home series, and India beat Bangladesh 2-0. They are also hampered by their rivals playing each other – any slips for one likely means an improved position for another. Say India whitewash Bangladesh and Australia and Australia and South Africa whitewash West Indies. Then, if Pakistan draw two and win the rest of their home series, any result between Australia and South Africa apart from a 1-0 win for the hosts would see Pakistan miss out on the final.

West Indies

Current PCT: 50.00
Max PCT: 65.38
Series: Australia (away, two Tests), South Africa (away, two Tests)

West Indies are still theoretically in contention, but defeat in the opening Test against Australia would all but end their chances. If they lose, then their max PCT would drop to 57.69, unlikely to be enough. They would require Australia to lose five of seven against South Africa and India in that case, or to smash both of South Africa and India, and for Pakistan to draw three or lose two.

Sri Lanka

Current PCT: 53.33
Max PCT: 61.11
Series: New Zealand (away, two Tests)

Sri Lanka have just one series left, a tough engagement in New Zealand. However, if they do emulate their 2-0 result in South Africa in 2019 and pull off a whitewash over the Black Caps, they will have a decent chance of making the final. While they would still need other results to go their way, any two of Australia dropping a home Test match, or Pakistan winning at most three home Tests, or India failing to win a couple of Tests, would likely see Sri Lanka with a route into the final.

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