India stayed in contention of playing the ICC World Test Championship final next year as they retained their second spot at year-end despite New Zealand beating Pakistan by 101 runs in the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Wednesday. Australia lead the points table with 76.6 % (Percentage of points or PCT) while India are second with 72.2% following their victory in the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
New Zealand, meanwhile, cemented their position at third and moved a bit closer to India with 66.7%.England (No. 4 with 60.8%), Pakistan (No. 5 with 34.6%) and South Africa (No. 6 with 28%) follow the top three.Sri Lanka are at No. 7 with 26.7%, while West Indies are No. 8 with 11.1%.
“New Zealand keep themselves in contention of making it to the final of the ICC World Test Championship,” the International Cricket (ICC) tweeted on Wednesday.
New Zealand keep themselves in contention of making it to the final of the ICC World Test Championship 🙌
— ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2020
Though India lead every other team on the number of points earned, the ICC recently introduced a points system that ranks teams on percentage of points (PCT) instead of the overall points earned, after several series/matches could not take place due to Covid pandemic around the world.
Earlier yesterday, India beat Australia in the second Test in MCG. Chasing 70 to win in the second session of the fourth day, India managed to get the runs needed in 15.5 overs despite losing two early wickets. A 51-run stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Shubman Gill ensured the visitors got home with minimal fuss despite an early double strike giving the hosts a glimmer of hope. However, no one can argue that India’s win was anything but deserves given they dominated for most parts of the Test match.
India started the chase steadily, with both openers Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill looking to score runs but not taking any unnecessary risks.However, Agarwal fell victim to Mitchell Starc as the left-arm pacer angled one outwards to the opener that he decided to play at woth hard hands. The ball took the edge and flew straight to Tim Paine behind the stumps.
Pat Cummins then struck in the very next over, getting one to shape away from Cheteshwar Pujara ever so slightly and forcing the batsman to play at it. The thick edge flew to Cameron Green and suddenly Australia sensed a glimmer of hope.