India to play New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Australia, England, South Africa in WTC 2; equal points for every Test: Report

  • The upcoming India-England series and the Ashes later this year are the only five-match Test series in the second cycle of WTC which is otherwise dominated by two-match Test series.
India's captain Virat Kohli, second left, and teammates celebrate(AP)
India's captain Virat Kohli, second left, and teammates celebrate(AP)
Published on Jun 30, 2021 10:59 AM IST
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India will host New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Australia and travel to England, South Africa and Bangladesh in the second edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle which begins with the Virat Kohli-led side’s five-match series in England starting on August 4.

Like the last cycle, WTC 2 will also begin from this August and will continue for nearly two years with the final taking place in June 2023, the venue for which is yet to be finalised, reported ESPNCricinfo.

The upcoming India-England series and the Ashes later this year are the only five-match Test series in the second cycle of WTC which is otherwise dominated by two-match Test series.

“Australia's tour of India, in 2022, is the only four-Test series in WTC 2. Beyond that, there are seven three-Test series and 13 series comprising two Tests,” the report adds.

What has changed from the last WTC cycle?

The point system (period). The complex system of awarding 120 points per series irrespective of the number of matches involved in it created a lot of confusion not only among fans but also among the teams. The ICC is set to do away with the 60 (in 2 match series), 40 (in 3 match series), 30 (in 4 match series) and 24 (in 5 match series) points for a victory in a Test in the next cycle.

Also Read | Ganguly picks 'highlight' of India's WTC run, gives his take on best-of-3 finals

In WTC 2, teams winning a Test match will be awarded 12 points irrespective of the number of Test matches involved in the series. A draw will fetch 4 points while a tied Test match will give 6 points to both the teams.

How will the standings be calculated?

The standings, however, will be determined by the percentage of points (POP) system. This rule was brought in by the ICC after the pandemic postponed a few series in the previous WTC cycle, creating a discrepancy in the points system. But there is a minor change in that too. In the previous cycle, the POP was calculated keeping the number of series as the base. For example, if a team played 5 series in WTC instead of the scheduled 6, then the highest point it could get was 600 (120 points per series win). Suppose that team earned 450 points then its POP would be 75 as it achieved 75% of the total available points.

In the new system, the POP will be calculated with the number of matches played as the base. England are slated to feature in 21 Tests – the most – in WTC 2, which means they can earn 252 points if they win all. If they don't, their POP will be calculated on the percentage of 252.

ICC's acting chief executive officer Geoff Allardice had expanded on the change in the points system between the two cycles of the WTC.

Also Read | Ex-spinner acknowledges India's struggle over past 1 year, calls WTC final close

"Instead of each series being worth the same number of points, 120, irrespective of whether the series is played over two Tests or five Tests, the next cycle will see each match being worth the same number of points - a maximum of 12 per match. Teams will be ranked on the percentage of available points they won from the matches they have played. The aim was to try and simplify the points system and to allow teams to be meaningfully compared on the table at any.”

What has remained the same in WTC 2

Apart from the August-June cycle of nearly two years, the number of series per team – the nine Test-playing nations – will continue to be six. The series will be played according to the Future Tour Programmes (FTP) of ICC locked for the 2019-2023 cycle.

Which teams plays most, which team least

According to the report, just like the last WTC cycle, England are slated to play the most number of matches in WTC 2 followed by India (19 Tests), Australia (18) and South Africa (15). Bangladesh will play only 12 Tests - the least - in WTC 2. Current WTC winners, New Zealand, will be only 13 while along with West Indies and Sri Lanka while Pakistan are scheduled to play 14 Tests.

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Monday, October 18, 2021