India, Australia, England, and New Zealand most likely to fight for the top 2 spots in our World Test Championship 2019-21 prediction.
As a bold and necessary step taken by ICC to revive Test Cricket, the World Test Championship has begun with a bang. It has only been a month, but we have already seen some really intense matches. England chasing down their highest total in Tests, India winning their biggest overseas win, and New Zealand beating Sri Lanka by an innings being the highlights.
While the format and Points System is definitely debatable, taking such a bold and necessary step is a commendable effort from ICC. Having said that, the WTC 2019-21 gives us a great platform to analyze the fixtures of all the teams in detail, and predict the top 2 finalists, who shall be playing the finals at the home of cricket, the Lord’s.
While it is extremely difficult to predict the top 2, we hope to be as close as possible using our unique methodology.
We shall breakdown the matches in home and away conditions. Post that, we shall predict the results based on the number of matches, the Team’s current rankings, and their past performance at that particular location.
Before that, let’s quickly understand how the ICC Test Championship points system works.
ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS SYSTEM
2 Match Series | Win: 60 Points | Draw: 20 P | Tie: 30 P
3 Match Series | Win: 40 Points | Draw: 13.33 P | Tie: 20 P
4 Match Series | Win: 30 Points | Draw: 10 P | Tie: 15 P
5 Match Series | Win: 24 Points | Draw: 8 P | Tie: 12 P
As can be seen, the overall points per series are set at 120, however, individual matches are given points based on the total number of matches in the series.
So, without wasting any time, let’s analyze the fixtures of the top 5 teams who have the highest probability of making it to the finals of the World Test Championship 2019-21.
Mat: 18 | Win: 10 | Loss: 5 | Draw: 3 | Points: 484
Home: Ban(2), Eng(5), SA(3)
It is no doubt that the world number 1, Team India are the strongest team at home, and beating them at their den is next to impossible considering their current team.
India play Bangladesh, England, and South Africa at home. Out of which, Bangladesh should be the easiest series, and India should win that 2-0. The three Tests against South Africa could be tricky, and even though South Africa are a strong team, the absence of key players might affect their chances. Hence, I expect India to beat South Africa 2-1.
Against England, India play 4 Test matches, and this would be their most difficult home assignment. The last time England toured India, they lost the 5-match series 4-0. However, the current England Team is more lethal than the previous one. So, India may not be able to whitewash the England team, but may win the series 2-1 with the two matches ending as draws.
Total points at home: 120+80+64 = 264
Away: Aus(4), NZ(2), WI(2)
India play Australia, New Zealand, and West Indies away from home. Out of the three away series, West Indies series is the easiest of the lot, and India should win that series 2-0.
The New Zealand series won’t be easy for India. The last time India toured New Zealand for a Test series was in 2014, and a lot has changed since then. Hence, considering both the team’s strengths, I expect the series to end as a Tie 1-1.
The Australia assignment would be the toughest of the lost since this time Steve Smith and David Warner would be back in the team. India may have won the 2019 Test series 2-1, but this time the 4-match series should end up 2-1 in favor of Australia with one match being ended as a draw.
Total points away from home: 120+60+40 = 220
Mat: 19 | Win: 11 | Loss: 5 | Draw: 3 | Points: 486
Home: Ind(4), NZ(3), Pak(2)
The return of Steve Smith, David Warner, and James Pattinson have boosted the Australian line up. They look more lethal than what they were few months back. Australia play India, New Zealand, and Pakistan at home. The India series as mentioned above should end 2-1 in Australia’s favour with one match ended as a draw.
The current Pakistan side isn’t a strong one, and it won’t be a surprise if Australia win the series against them 2-0. New Zealand at home might be a tricky one for Australia, and considering New Zealand haven’t won a series against them in this decade, but have always given a tough fight, the series should end 2-1 in favor of Australia.
Total points at home: 70+120+80= 270
Away: Ban(2), Eng(5), SA(3)
Australia play Bangladesh, England, and South Africa away from home. Out of these three, the Bangladesh series should be the easiest, but it won’t be a cakewalk for Australia. I still expect Australia to win the series 1-0 with one match being ended as a draw.
The Ashes series is currently leveled 1-1 with two matches to go. Considering the form of both the teams, the series should end up in a draw 2-2. Australia have had a good record against South Africa in South Africa considering they have won 2 of their last 3 series. Also, considering South Africa’s current team, Australia should win this series 2-1.
Total points away from home: 80+56+80= 216
Mat: 22 | Win: 11 | Loss: 6 | Draw: 5 | Points: 439.33
Home: Aus(5), Pak(3), WI(3)
England are a strong team, but they play the maximum number of matches among all the teams. This may act as a disadvantage since the per match points are bifurcated accordingly.
England play Australia, Pakistan, and West Indies at Home. Out of these three series, Pakistan and West Indies ones would be the easiest, and it won’t be a surprise if England win the West Indies series 3-0, and Pakistan series 2-0 with one match ending as a draw. Also, as mentioned above for Ashes 2019, the series should end as a Tie 2-2.
Total points at home: 120+93.33+56= 269.33
Away: Ind(5), SA(4), SL(2)
England have the toughest away series as they play India, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. As mentioned above for India series, India should win the 5-match series 2-1 with two matches ending as draws.
England have had a good record in South Africa, and considering South Africa’s current team woes, England should win the 2-1 with one match ending as a draw. Like India, the Sri Lanka series should also be tough considering what Sri Lanka did to New Zealand. Just like New Zealand, I expect the series to end as a Tie 1-1.
Total points away from home: 40+70+60= 170
Mat: 14 | Win: 7 | Loss: 5 | Draw: 2 | Points: 393.33
Home: Ind(2), Pak(2), WI(3)
Out of the top 5 teams, New Zealand play the least number of matches, but will that work in their favor? Let’s find out. New Zealand play India, Pakistan, and West Indies at home. As mentioned above for the India series, it should end as a Tie 1-1. While West Indies aren’t a bad team, their record in New Zealand isn’t impressive. New Zealand should easily whitewash the West Indies 2-0 with one match being ended as a draw.
Pakistan have a decent record in New Zealand, hopefully, their series should end as a Tie 1-1.
Total points at home: 60+93.33+60= 213.33
Away: Aus(3), Ban(2), SL(2)
New Zealand play Australia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka away from home. As mentioned above for the Australia series, Australia should win the 3-match series 2-1. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka series is already ended as a Tie 1-1.
The Bangladesh series would be an interesting one as New Zealand don’t have an impressive record in the Subcontinent. The last time they toured Bangladesh, the series ended in a Tie 0-0. However, I still expect New Zealand to win the series 1-0 with 1 match ending as a draw.
Total points away from home: 40+60+80= 180
Mat: 16 | Win: 7 | Loss: 6 | Draw: 3 | Points: 340
Home: Aus(3), Eng(4), SL(2)
South Africa aren’t as strong as they were a couple of years back, but they still have the bowling arsenal to trouble any batsmen in the world.
South Africa play Australia, England, and Sri Lanka at home. As mentioned for Australia and England, both the teams should be able to win the series 2-1 with one match as a draw for England series. The last time Sri Lanka toured South Africa, they won the series 2-0. While this may not be the case again, I expect the series to end 1-0 in South Africa’s favor with 1 match being ended as a draw.
Total points at home: 40+40+80= 160
Away: Ind(3), Pak(2), WI(2)
South Africa play India, Pakistan, and West Indies away from home. As mentioned for India series, India should be able to win the series 2-1.
The Pakistan series should be a challenging one for South Africa. So, considering their previous performance, and their current team, I expect the series to end 1-0 in Pakistan’s favor with 1 match being ended as a draw.
The West Indies series shouldn’t be challenging for South Africa, and they should be able to win the series 2-0.
Total points away from home: 40+20+120= 180
The other four teams should have the following points.
- Pakistan: 273.33
- Sri Lanka: 273.33
- Bangladesh: 186.66
- West Indies: 126.66
So, of all likelihood, India and Australia look the best bet to play the World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June 2021.
Thanks for reading! Which two teams would qualify for the World Test Championship final? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics with over 20 years of experience following Cricket.
Cricket to him is like what Football is to Lionel Messi, Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar, Dancing is to Michael Jackson, and Acting is to Clint Eastwood.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.