'Will be surprised if India, Pakistan don't come knocking on door': Aussie great's bold prediction on WTC 2023 finalists

Published on Aug 21, 2022 07:12 AM IST

South Africa stand atop in the table with 75 PCT while Australia stand below with 70 PCT. Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan follow respectively and await a slip-up in a bid to force their way through to the top-two spots.

Pakistan cricket team; Indian cricket team
Pakistan cricket team; Indian cricket team

South Africa's impressive win against new-look England on Saturday saw Dean Elgar's side consolidate their stop atop in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship the final for which will be played next year. But the fight for the top two spots seems to be heating up already although teams are yet to play ample games before the finalists are decided. But former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has made a bold prediction on the finalists for the WTC final next year.

South Africa stand atop in the table with 75 PCT while Australia stand below with 70 PCT. Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan follow respectively and await a slip-up in a bid to force their way through to the top-two spots.

“Right now, the way I see it, it’s going to be hard for South Africa and Australia to not make it”, Watson told Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review when asked to predict the two finalists. “They’re both playing really good cricket. Australia played good cricket apart from that last Test against Sri Lanka where they got swept u pin turning conditions in the last innings."

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With South Africa still having two more matches in the ongoing Basil D'Oliveira Trophy series, Elgar's men have a chance to consolidate their spot atop before they take on Australia in a top-of-the-table clash later this year Down Under. But India and Pakistan both have the opportunity to script a turnaround in the campaign and Watson ain't ruling out the possibility of a blockbuster WTC final between the two arch-rivals.

“You can never discount India and Pakistan, because they’ve got so many match winners, outside of their home countries as well,” Watson added. “Those two, I’d be very surprised if they don’t come knocking on the door leading into the final.”

India's next Test assignment will be against Australia at home. India have defeated Australia in both their last Test series meetings and no team has defeated India in India in the red-ball format since 2012. Meanwhile, Pakistan have back-to-back series against England and New Zealand, both at home, later this year.

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