South Africa’s loss to England in the third Test at The Oval has left the race for next year’s World Test Championship final wide open.
Australia currently leads the standings and is well positioned to reach the 2023 World Cup, but there are still a total of six teams competing to reach the final.
Heading into the final stages of the course, here’s how to position your team.
Remaining series: West Indies (home, two tests), South Africa (home, three tests), India (away, four tests)
While Australia appears to be in pole position to qualify for their first World Test Championship final, they will likely need to score some positive results during next year’s round in India.
Facing Rohit Sharma’s team away from home for four Tests at a place they haven’t won since 2004, the Australians will likely need to avoid defeat to ensure they make it to the World Trade Center course.
Good results during Australia’s summer at home against the West Indies and South Africa would put Pat Cummins’s side in good standing, but neither of the two traveling teams will come easy.
Remaining series: Australia (away, three tests), West Indies (home, two tests)
A 2-1 series loss to England away from home saw Proteas losing the World Test Championship standings, although they are still in a strong position to reach next year’s final.
Their away series against Australia will be crucial to the fortunes of both sides, while South Africa host the West Indies in two Tests next year that could determine the final places.
Remaining series: New Zealand (away, 2 tests)
While Sri Lanka appears to be well placed to reach the final of the World Test Championship, it will need everything to get its way if it is to qualify as the decision maker.
Only one series left for Sri Lanka – a two Test trip to New Zealand – where they won just twice in 19 attempts.
The maximum points in New Zealand will raise them to 61.1%, which means they will need help from the undesirable sides at the bottom of the table just to finish first and second.
Remaining series: Bangladesh (outside the home, two tests), Australia (at home, four tests)
Rohit Sharma’s team travel to Bangladesh for two Test matches later this year, and a positive result during that series will leave the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Cup fight as one of the biggest for many years.
India has had an excellent record recently at home against Australia and will be confident to do enough to win this series and qualify for the second World Championship final in a row.
There is still some chance that India can take on arch-rival Pakistan in the final of the World Testing Championship if both teams go their way in the coming months.
Remaining series: England (home, three tests), New Zealand (home, two tests)
While Pakistan sits in fifth place in the current standings, they have the luxury of playing all five of their remaining matches on home soil.
If they can win all five of those matches, they will rise to 69.05%, which could prove to be enough to qualify for the first Test World Championship final.
However, Babar Azam’s team can’t afford too many mistakes, with every test he doesn’t win to be detrimental to his chances of getting first and second in the standings.
Remaining series: Australia (away, 2 tests), South Africa (away, 2 tests),
The West Indies could finish with 65.38%, although they would have to win all four games in difficult away conditions to seal an unexpected place in the World Tennis Championships 23 final.
Having pulled themselves off the bottom of the table with a back-to-back win over England and a clean sweep against Bangladesh, there were positive signs in captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s campaign, even if it looked like a solo attack with the bats.
Brathwaite’s 752 at 50.13 is by far the highest number of West Indies players on the course, despite bowling being held by many members of the group.
Remaining series: Pakistan (away, three auditions)
England is one of the Test World Championship teams, but unfortunately Brendon McCollum’s team is long overdue.
At one point stuck at the bottom of the table, England’s hopes of raising the puck were arguably dashed as early as the unsuccessful Ashes streak at the start of this year.
Back-to-back series victories over New Zealand and South Africa showed what England can do, but they will have to wait until the next period to try to qualify for the Test World Championship final.
This does not mean that the backend of their campaign has no bearing on WTC23’s actions.
They can make a huge impact on Pakistan’s hopes by defeating Babar Azam’s team in three away Tests later this year.
Remaining series: Pakistan (away, 2 tests), Sri Lanka (home, 2 tests)
It was the death of the 2021 champion with a thousand cuts, which fell to Bangladesh at home, saw Ross Taylor exit the international, and captain Ken Williamson sidelined with an elbow problem.
The Black Caps can only finish with 48.72%, well below what is needed to appear in next year’s final.
Remaining series: India (home, 2 exams)
Bangladesh is a leading country in international one-day cricket, although the longer form was not the Tigers’ forte, with shaky strikes preventing any boost from the World Trials Championship.
The team’s hitters occupy only two of the tournament’s top 40 scorers, with Leighton Das (883 points in 49.05) and Mushfiq Rahim (539 in 49.00) being the only players to leave any mark in the competition.
The team has yet to win a Test match at home in the competition, despite stunning New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.
Bangladesh will be looking to surprise when it hosts India in two Tests later this year.