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World Test Championship: Black Caps make the race for the final interesting

New Zealand firmed their position in the World Test Championship by wrapping up a 2-0 series win over Pakistan with a huge victory at the Hagley Oval on Wednesday.

The Black Caps are now third on the World Test Championship log, with the top two teams set to compete in a final at Lord’s later this year.

The Kiwis are arguably Test cricket’s form side with skipper Kane Williamson enjoying a bumper summer driving him to the top of the Test batting rankings.

Black Caps take number one and strengthen WTC position

As things stand, Australia and India occupy the top two spots, but with those sides facing each other, New Zealand may move into the top two before their next WTC engagement.

New Zealand also claimed the number one rating in the ICC Test Team Rankings thanks to their third successive 2-0 win in a home series.

The Black Caps have won 0.700 percentage points, the factor that now determines the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the Covid-19 disruption. Pakistan are on 0.307 percentage points and slip behind South Africa into sixth place on the log.

Only the top four, which also includes England are in contention for the Grand Final at the Home of Cricket.

South Africa jumped up the table with their 2-0 home series win over Sri Lanka which they wrapped up on Tuesday 5 January.

The top two sides at the end of the league on percentage points will contest the final. Each series of the league is worth 120 points, distributed evenly over the number of matches in a series, ranging from 60 for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series.

England’s away series in Sri Lanka and South Africa’s two-Test trip to Pakistan, both getting underway later this month, will be the next contests in the World Test Championship after India wrap up their series in Australia.

A series between Bangladesh and the West Indies and England’s away series in India will then wrap up the initial phase of the inaugural World Test Championship. 

World Test Championship standings

Rank Team PCT Points Series Played Matches
1 Australia 0.767 322 4* 12 8 1 3
2 India 0.722 390 5* 11 8 0 3
3 New Zealand 0.70 420 5 11 7 0 4
4 England 0.608 292 4 15 8 3 4
5 South Africa 0.400 144 3 9 3 0 6
6 Pakistan 0.307 166 4.5 10 2 3 5
7 Sri Lanka 0.222 80 3 6 1 1 4
8 West Indies 0.111 40 3 7 1 0 6
9 Bangladesh 0.000 0 1.5 3 0 0 3
World Test Championship standings as of 06/01/2021

* indicates ongoing series

Distribution of points in ICC World Test Championship
Matches in series Points for a win Points for a tie Points for a draw Points for a defeat
2 60 30 20 0
3 40 20 13 0
4 30 15 10 0
5 24 12 8 0

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