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India vs Australia: Hosts Docked Four Points; Why India Would Want Pakistan to Win Over New Zealand

After a convincing eight-wicket win over the Australians in the Boxing Day Test, India perhaps has come one step closer to making it to the final of the World Test Championship. After Covid-19 struck and many series were cancelled, ICC had changed the rules for the championship, and New Zealand looked the likely beneficiaries from it. But with the win India has narrowed down the gap from table-toppers Australia.

India vs Australia: Hosts Docked Four Points; Why India Would Want Pakistan to Win Over New Zealand

After a convincing eight-wicket win over the Australians in the Boxing Day Test, India perhaps has come one step closer to making it to the final of the World Test Championship. After Covid-19 struck and many series were cancelled, ICC had changed the rules for the championship, and New Zealand looked the likely beneficiaries from it. But with the win India has narrowed down the gap from table-toppers Australia.

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Apart from that Australia has also been fined 40 per cent of their match fee and penalised four ICC World Test Championship points for maintaining a slow over-rate against India. It happened after Tim Paine's side was ruled to be two overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration, as per an ICC release.

Also, India would be hoping that Pakistan either manage to win their Test series against New Zealand, or at least is able to draw it. That would take India clearly in front, and then all would remain on the India-England home series in 2021. That's because New Zealand swept the two-match series against West Indies and that has made them a serious challenger for the top two positions. If they also beat Pakistan 2-0 at home, they will get to 70 PCT.

Assuming New Zealand sweep the series against Pakistan, India's best chances of ensuring a position in the final will be to win at least 5 of the 8 Tests to cross 70 PCT - one against Australia and all 4 against England - both of which are realistic possibilities.

Meanwhile, Batsman Rohit Sharma, who has recovered from a hamstring injury and is under quarantine in Sydney, will join the Indian team in Melbourne on Wednesday although there is still no clarity on whether he will play the third Test beginning January 7. India coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday told media that the team management will have a chat with him about how he feels before taking a call on his availability. "Rohit joins the team tomorrow. We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically because he has been quarantined for a couple of weeks. We will have to see now how he feels before we take the call," said Shastri.

ALSO READ - India vs Australia: Rohit Sharma's Place in Playing Eleven is Not Guaranteed, Says Ravi Shastri

Rohit's inability to fly with the India squad had created controversy as skipper Virat Kohli on arrival in Australia said that the team management has not been kept informed about his progress. Kohli had said that he would have liked him to be with the team and recuperate in Australia just like Wriddhiman Saha.Rohit flew down to Australia in mid-December days before the start of the Test series. While being quarantined in Sydney, he has not had any practice and could be rusty which is probably why Shastri said that the team will consider how he feels.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 India 3765 118
3 Australia 3498 113
4 England 4734 108
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking