A comprehensive 3-1 Test series victory over England has confirmed India’s spot in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship, where they will meet New Zealand. The WTC final is scheduled between June 18 and 22 at a yet-to-be-named venue in England – the ICC is expected to make the final call soon.

At the start of this Test series, both India and England were in with a shot of making the final. They both needed to win the series, of course, and win it well enough to cross Australia’s points percentage of 69.17. From India’s point of view, a win by at least a 2-1 margin was good enough.

However, a big 227-run defeat in the series opener in Chennai, played out on a flat pitch, increased the pressure on Virat Kohli‘s team. It also meant that both Australia and England remained in the fray.

“There was never a question of commitment or whether we are going for a win or not. It did become a distraction for us in New Zealand, but from then on it was just focus on one game at a time and now we are in the final, which we can’t wait to be a part of”

Virat Kohli

With a win worth 30 points and a draw 10 points, India could not afford to lose another match in the remaining three Tests, and that’s exactly what they ensured – wins by 317 runs in the second Tests in Chennai followed by victories by ten wickets and an innings and 25 runs in Ahmedabad gave them a 3-1 margin of victory. And that meant overtaking Australia to the final with 72.2 percentage points, which also helped them top the points table, clear of New Zealand at 70.

Kohli: ‘Can’t wait to be part of WTC final’

The inaugural cycle of the WTC was devised by the ICC in order to make Test cricket more appealing by providing context to every series played. As per the original schedule, the top nine teams – so no Zimbabwe, Ireland or Afghanistan – would each contest a total of six bilateral series, three at home and three away, with a maximum of 720 points overall at stake. However, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted that plan, and caused many series to be postponed or cancelled, forcing the ICC to devise a new system where teams would be ranked “in order of percentage of points” earned.