The international Test itinerary which kicked off post the ICC World Cup 2019 is an interesting one. Although teams are playing opponents in various corners of the globe, their series are all integrated since a specific point system is being followed in these games. It is because the ICC World Test Championship is underway and will continue till June 2021 when the final will be held in England to decide the formal champions in the longest format for the first time in its century-plus history.
Teams like India, England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka have already bagged wins under the championship and picked up points. Virat Kohli’s side is at the top of the points table with the best ‘runs per wicket ratio’ of 2.338, thanks to their dominating 318-run victory over the West Indies in the first of the two-match series in Antigua.
The visitors had some early problems during batting in the first innings but man of the match Ajinkya Rahane’s solid batting performances in both essays and some terrific pace bowling saw India winning easily at the end. The win also made Kohli the joint most-successful Indian captain in Tests along with his immediate predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Chasing 419 to win the game, the hosts had no answer for India’s bowling firepower and were skittled out for 100.
England also beat Australia by 1 wicket in the third Test of the ongoing Ashes series around the same time but while India got 60 points for their victory, England got only 24. While a section of the fans was confused as to what made the difference despite the two teams winning a Test match, it was all because of the championship’s format.
It all depends on number of matches in a series
Each series of the Test championship will have 120 points to fight for and they will be equally divided among the number of matches. Thus, India got 60 points because they are playing in a two-game series versus the Caribbeans while England and Australia have locked horns over a five-match series. England have 32 points in all at the moment since their second Test against Australia (who also have 32 owing to a win and draw) was drawn and the teams got eight points each. In India’s series, a draw will fetch 20 points.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka also have 60 points each at the moment after their two-game series ended 1-1. While the Lankans won the first game by 6 wickets, the Kiwis came back strong to win the second Test by an innings and 65 runs.
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