Imagine playing in the finals of a tournament for which you and your team have worked hard for more than two years. And your opponent in the final is your Arch Rival. The energy will be at its peak, every ball bowled will be full of commitment, every shot will be cracked from the middle of the willow, every appeal will be at the top of every player’s voice and every run scored will get you closer to victory. What an ideal game of cricket for any fan to witness. This imagination will turn true on the 7th June at The Oval Cricket Ground in London, when the two giants of International Cricket, India and Australia collide in the battle of the best in the second ICC World Test Championship final.
What is the World Test Championship?
The ICC World Test Championship is the ultimate test tournament for all the test playing nations. The vision is in line with ICC’s goal of having one premier competition for every format of the game. The T20 format already had the T20 World Cup, but there were two top flight ODI cricket tournaments, the ODI World Cup and the Champions Trophy. The ICC, which is the highest authority in cricket, decided to scrap the Champions Trophy completely and introduce a new tournament that celebrates and fuels excitement in the silently fading format, Test Cricket. With the introduction of the WTC, each bilateral counts, and teams are working harder to win this tournament and bring glory to their country in the original format of the game, and take home the prestigious trophy, The ICC Test Mace.
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Which team will play WTC final 2023?
India and Australia are both set to face each other in the WTC Final in June in 2023. Australia finished at the top of the ICC test championship points table 2023 with a win rate of 75.56% with India second with a win rate of 58.93%. The first edition of this tournament was played between India and New Zealand, where New Zealand beat India comfortably. India will fight for its honour whereas Australia will look to add another ICC trophy into their vast collection.
The Squad for the two teams are as follows:
India Squad for the WTC Final 2023:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan
Australia Squad for World Test Championship Final 2023:
Pat Cummins (Captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.
Credit: ESPN Cricinfo
With so many legends playing against each other, it is sure that there's going to be a lot of drama. Be it the faceoff between the in form King of Cricket, Virat Kohli and the deadly pace trio of Australia with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. How captain Rohit Sharma leads the team will also be interesting to see, so don’t miss out. Be prepared to see the biggest test match of the year.
World Test Championship Points Table Rules:
The WTC test cricket cycle spans over two years, with the WTC finals being played at the end of the cycle between the two top teams in the points table. It takes into consideration every bilateral series that a national team plays during the cycle. Each team plays 6 series, 3 at home and 3 away. The first edition of the ICC Test Championship kicked off with the Ashes in 2019. The final of the first cycle showed the world India’s continuous struggle to show character in important matches. New Zealand defeated India comfortably in the final of the first cycle of the WTC at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton.
Since it was only the first ever ICC test championship, some things did not go to plan. The first cycle was complex and disorganized, the World Test Championship points table rules received criticism, so the International Cricket Council had to introduce a newer plan. The new points table rule for cricket takes into consideration the entire series as a whole and every match in a series. A team gets 12 points for a victory, 4 for a draw, 6 for a tie, and there is a penalty for slow over-rates. The new approach makes things easier while continuing to credit all games towards a team’s championship status. In the end, the two teams with the highest aggregate win percentage and points play in the final.
Whoever is the winner of the World Test Championship (WTC), we’re sure that we will see some top-quality batting and bowling displays from the game's top athletes. There will be unlimited entertainment for the fans. But there’s some time left for the tournament, till then, indulge in the IPL season by reading this article by ZAP about IPL's Unstoppable Journey: Cricketainment Unlimited