Chennai: The resounding 317-run win over England in the second Test here Tuesday propelled India to second spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings issued by the ICC. After the series-levelling win at Chepuak, India have 69.7 percentage points (PCT) and 460 aggregate points, behind New Zealand. The Kiwis have already qualified for the WTC final to be played at the Lord’s in June. New Zealand have 70.0 PCT and 420 points.
India had lost the first Test by 227 runs at the same venue. They need to win the one more and at least draw the other game to make it to the WTC final. They were fourth on the table before Tuesday’s result.
Virat Kohli’s men are currently playing in their sixth series of the WTC cycle. They have won 10 matches, lost four and drawn one.
Australia are at the third spot with 69.2 PCT and 332 points while England are fourth with 67.0 PCT and 442 points.
The third Test – a day /night affair – begins February 24 in Ahmedabad. It will no doubt be a tough game for India as the Test will be played with pink balls. India did not do well recently in the pink ball Test played at Adelaide last year. In fact they were bowled out for only 36 in the second innings of the game. Till date it is the lowest score in India’s Test history.
Both Jofra Archer and James Anderson are expected to play the game in Ahmedabad. Hence the England pace attack will be far more threatening in night conditions. However, India still have a Jasprit Bumrah to fall back on.