World Test Championship: From Smith to Labuschagne - How Australia batsmen are closing gap on India’s massive lead at top
World Test Championship: With seven wins in as many matches and three series wins, India currently occupy the top spot with 360 points.Updated: Jan 05, 2020 08:28 IST
Australia may be ranked fifth in the world in latest ICC Test Rankings but their position in World Test Championship (WTC) table tell a different story altogether. India had opened up a huge gap at the top of pile but slowly and steadily, Australia have consolidated their position at the second spot, so much so that India’s lead doesn’t look so big anymore.
With seven wins in as many matches and three series wins, India currently occupy the top spot with 360 points. Each series of the WTC is worth 120 points, distributed evenly over the number of matches in a series. The points range from 60 points for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series.
India have not played a Test since their victory over Bangladesh in the historic pink-ball Test at Eden Gardens. During that time, Australia had 56 points in their kitty which was accumulated from their five-match series against England, that ended in a 2-2 draw.
Since then, Australia blanked Pakistan in the two-match series and have already taken a two-nil unassailable lead in the three-match series against New Zealand. Courtesy of these victories, Australia have 256 points in the bag which is just 104 points behind India’s tally.
In the ongoing third Test against Kiwis, Australia are in a formidable position, following the heroics of Marnus Labuschangne, who slammed his maiden double century in Test cricket. If Australia does manage to win the Sydney Test as well, they will further cut down India’s lead by 40 points.
Steve Smith started Australia surge at the top half of WTC table, courtesy of his surreal show in last year’s Ashes. He smashed 774 runs in four Tests at an average of 110.57 including a double hundred, 2 more hundreds and 3 fifties. Smith has since gone cold but the baton has been passed over to Labuschange.
After scoring 215 in Sydney, Labuschagne has now slammed a double century, two 150s, one century and two half centuries in his last seven innings. This latest innings helped take his tally to 837 runs at an average of 199.57 for the home season.
The right-hand, left-hand combination is working in full force for Australia as they are working like a well-oiled machine to snatch the top spot from India, who have been simply sensational since the beginning of the World Test Championship.