- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 20 January 2021, 8:47AM
India's brilliant series-clinching victory over Australia in Brisbane yesterday has serious implications on whether the Black Caps will qualify for the World Test Championship later this year.
India went into the fourth and final test at the Gabba as huge underdogs after several key players were ruled out of the test with injuries.
As well as skipper Virat Kohli back in India following the birth of his first child, and Australia having an unbeaten run at the ground stretching back to 1988 - it seemed an Indian victory was the most unlikely outcome.
However, they chased down 329 on the final day to win by three wickets with wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant the hero, scoring 89 not out as well as the winning runs to complete the 2-1 series victory.
As it stands New Zealand now sit second on the World Test Championship standings with a winning percentage of 70 percent, following a perfect summer of four test wins over West Indies and Pakistan.
India now lead the standings on 71.7 percent and Australia have dropped from first to third on 69.2 percent.
The top two sides will face off in the final in England in June. The final is expected to take place at Lord's but could be moved to either Manchester or Southampton due to Covid-19 restrictions and the lack of hotel options next to the London ground.
The Black Caps, ranked first in the ICC test rankings, have no more tests remaining before the finalists are decided while India head home to face England in a four-match series and Australia are meant to face South Africa.
The yet to be confirmed South African series could decide the Black Caps' fate.
The Australian series in South Africa is set for early next month, their return to since the infamous sandpaper tour, but remains in doubt to the number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa.
England cancelled an ODI tour in South Africa in early December after an outbreak of Covid-19 cases at the luxurious and supposedly bio-secure Cape Town hotel where both teams are staying. Both squads have had members infected, while two workers at the hotel also contracted the disease.
The nation discovered a new strain of the virus late last year and are still recording more than 9000 cases a day.
If the tour doesn't go ahead, then the Black Caps are into the final.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month that Cricket Australia could offer to host the series with matches to be played in Perth or the UAE. But time is ticking for Tim Paine's men.
England could also come into the calculations if they win the second test against Sri Lanka to claim a 2-0 series victory and then earn a big series win in India.
But as it stands it's likely a three-team race.
Here's what New Zealand needs to make the final
- Australia to lose a test in South Africa or
- Australia to draw two tests in South Africa
- The Australia-South Africa series to be cancelled
- India to lose two tests to England or
- India to draw three tests with England
Here's what Australia needs to make the final
- Two wins and a draw in the three tests against South Africa
Here's what India needs to make the final
- Two wins and a draw against England.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission