The inaugural edition of world test championship is going to end soon. It was started in 2019 with the first test of Ashes that year. The final of the first ever world test championship will be played in Southampton, England in June 2021.
The idea of organizing championship was approved in the year 2010 by International cricket Council. Before the start of the first world test championship, it was cancelled twice in year 2013 and 2017 respectively. But after so many problems and hurdles, World test championship was finally organized and now it is in the final stage.
India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, England, Bangladesh, West indies and Sri Lanka.
First and quite successful edition of World test championship:-
The championship was started on 1 August 2019 with the start of the first test between England and Australia. World test championship featured nine teams. Actually there are 12 test playing nation. But ICC decided to go with top 9 countries. Top 9 countries according to ICC test rankings got place in world test championship. Each of those countries was scheduled to play a test series against six of the other eight teams. Each team was scheduled to play a Test series against six of the other eight teams.
Each series consisted of between two and five matches, so although all teams were to play six series, they were not scheduled to play the same number of Tests. Each team were able to score a maximum of 120 points from each series and the two teams with the most points at the end of the league stage would contest the final. In the case of a draw or a tie in the final, the two teams playing the final would be declared joint champions. There were total of 59 matches played during the world test championship.
Covid 19 pandemic and World Test championship:-
Corona virus pandemic has also made huge impact on the ongoing championship. Due to this dangerous virus many series has been cancelled or postponed. And because of this pandemic only ICC declared that the two teams who will play will be decided on the basis of the percentage of point earned.
Almost 4 series of world test championship got cancelled because of corona virus pandemic. Teams like Australia have suffered most because because of the cancellation. Due to this pandemic Cricket Australia cancelled their tour to South Africa. And because of the cancellation of this series Australia have to stay at third position according to percentage of points earned during the championship.
Final – New Zealand Vs India
The final of the world test championship will be played in Rose Bowl, Southampton, England. Final will be held from 18-22 June. New Zealand was the first team to fix its place in the finals of the championship. India was the second and the final team to enter into the finals.
Initially the final of the championship was supposed to happen in Lords. But on March 10, 2021 Southampton was finalized as the venue for the finals. This is because Southampton’s on-site hotels made the venue suitable to establish a bubble environment. This venue was already used by English cricket team for their international fixtures in 2020. And most importantly crowd will be allowed in the world test championship finals. Around 4000 people will attend this final.
What should we expect from final:-
The finals of the championship is going to happen between two top teams. India and New Zealand are undoubtedly the two best teams to play in the finals. India defeated every top team during their run in championship. India lost only 1 series during their run in championship. India lost to New Zealand 2-0 when they against this team in year 2020. New Zealand on the other hand won against some top teams during their run the championship.
The bowling attack of both the teams is very good. New Zealand has Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner in the pace department and Mitchell Santner as their spin bowler. India, on the other hand has Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma in their pace attack while they have Ravi Ashwin as their spinner. The pitch of Southampton will be helpful to pacers as we know.
Talking about batting department, both team has mix of experience and young talent. India has Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane Rishabh pant and Shubham Gill. New Zealand has Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicolls and BJ Watling.
According to cricket experts the final will be very interesting as both teams are eagerly waiting to collect ICC trophy.
Some stats from First edition of world test Championship:-
Most Runs – Marnus Labuschagne – Australia
Most wickets – Pat Cummins – Australia
Highest Individual score – David Warner – Australia
Best Bowling figure – Lasith Embuldeniya – Sri Lanka