The Complete Guide to the ICC World Test Championship

There was a belief among the ICC that the interest in test cricket was waning due to the fast-paced action of the shorter formats. In order to try increase public interest, they came up with the ICC World Test Championship, which gives teams something else to play for other than their series result. According to online cricket betting markets, the higher stakes the ICC world championship now provides is making cricket fans pay attention for the prestige winning the finals will bring to their national team. The very first World Test Championship was won by New Zealand as they beat India in the final at the Rose Bowl.

Best online cricket betting markets for WTC betting

An Overview of the ICC World Test Championship Final 2021

icc world test championship

Due to the pandemic, not all matches were able to be played in the inaugural World Test Championship, so the ICC decided to use the percentage of points earned to see which two teams would be competing in the ICC World Test Championship final. When this had been worked out, New Zealand and India were the two teams that made it to the final. Below we are going to take a look at how both of these teams made it to the showpiece, where and when the final, and what went down in the final.

How New Zealand Made It to the Final

New Zealand played five series, winning three of them, drawing one, and losing one. Their first series was a two-match series versus Sri Lanka in August 2019. They lost their first game by six wickets and win the second by an innings and 65 runs. They then played Australia in December 2019 and were easily beaten in all three Tests - they lost by 296 runs in Perth, 247 runs in Melbourne, and 279 runs in Sydney. They then played India at home in February 2020 and won both Tests by 10 wickets and seven wickets.

They then had a 10-month break before their next Test match, which was against the West Indies in a two-match series. They won the first Test by an innings and 134 runs and the second one by an innings and 12 runs. They then welcomed the Pakistan team at the end of the year for a two-match series and won the first Test by 101 runs and the second by an innings and 176 runs.

From the 600 points that they played for, they managed to win 420 of them which was a winning percentage of 70%. This clinched them second place, but if Australia had not been deducted four points for a slow over rate, it would have been the Aussies that made it to the final.

How India Made It to the Final

The Indian team played six series in the competition and won five of them and lost the other one. The first series that they played was in the West Indies, which they won pretty easily. They won the first game in Antigua by 318 runs and the second Test in Jamaica by 257 runs. Their next series consisted of three matches against South Africa in India in October 2019, and they won easily once again. They won the first Test by 203 runs, the second by an innings and 137 runs, and the third by an innings and 202 runs. Bangladesh traveled to India and were the next team that got put to the sword - they lost the first Test by an innings and 130 runs, and lost the second by an innings and 46 runs.

In February 2020, India traveled to New Zealand and put it a really disjointed showing and lost the series 2-0. They lost the first match by 10 wickets and the second match by seven wickets. They did not let this loss get to them though, and picked up a really good win in Australia in December 2020 and January 2021. With a pretty much second-string side, they came from 1-0 down to win the four-match series 2-1. They lost the first game by eight wickets, won the second by eight wickets, drew the third, and won the fourth by three wickets. In February and March, England traveled to India for four Tests. The home side got off to a slow start and lost the first Test by 227 runs. However, they quickly got into their stride and won the second Test by 317 runs, the third by 10 wickets, and the fourth by an innings and 25 runs.

Out of the 720 points that were available to India, they won 520 of them, meaning they had an overall winning percentage of 72.2%. This meant that they finished at the top of the official championship points table to take them three to the final.

When and Where Was the 2021 WTC Final Held?

The ICC World Test Championship final between New Zealand and India was played from the 18th-22nd of June 2021. It was originally scheduled to be played at Lord's Cricket Ground, the home of cricket. However, it was eventually moved to the Rose Bowl in Southampton because it has on-site hotels that made it perfect for the bubble environment that was needed.

What Happened in the Final?

New Zealand won the toss and decided to field first to take advantage of the green tinge that was on the wicket. India were bowled out for 217 with Ajinkya Rahane top scoring with 49 runs. Kyle Jamieson was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand with five wickets for 31 runs. In reply to India's first innings score, the Kiwis hit 249 thanks to a 54 from Devon Conway and a 49 from Kane Williamson.

In India's second innings, they were bowled out for 170 with Rishabh Pant being the top scorer with 41. Tim Southee was New Zealand's best bowler, picking up 4 wickets for 48 runs. This left the Kiwis needing 138 runs to win the trophy, and a 52* from Williamson and a 47* from Ross Taylor saw them to a comfortable eight wicket victory.

What Happens if the Final is a Tie or a Draw?

If the final ends in a draw or a tie, the two teams will be declared as joint champions. There is a reserve day available, but this only comes into play if there is lost playing time during the scheduled five days. Net playing time works out as six hours a day or thirty hours for the whole match. So, if it rains for an hour and half session is lost, but play continues an hour later, there is no time lost as this time will be made up over the remaining days. However, if a whole day gets wiped out by the weather and the umpires can only make up two hours from the remaining days, they will be short of the required 30 hours by four hours, meaning that the reserve day will be used to fit them in.

Interesting Stats from the 2019-2023 ICC World Test Championship

Below we have given you some interesting stats from the 2019-2021 ICC Test Championship.

  • The leading scorer in the competition was Australia's Marnus Labuschagne who scored 1675 runs in 23 innings at an average of 72.82. This included five centuries and nine half-centuries. Joe Root was in second place with 1660 runs at an average of 47.42.
  • The leading wicket-taker in the tournament was India's Ravi Ashwin, who picked up 71 wickets in 14 matches at an impressive average of 20.33 - this included 4 five-wicket hauls and best match bowling figures of 9 wickets for 207. Australia's Pat Cummins was close behind with 70 wickets at an average of 21.02, with best match bowling figures of 7 wickets for 69 runs.
  • The highest score in the tournament was hit by David Warner, who smashed 335* from 418 balls against Pakistan on the 29th of November 2019. The next highest score was hit by Zak Crawley, who hit 267 runs from 393 balls against Pakistan on the 21st August 2020.
  • The highest team total was hit by New Zealand against Pakistan on the 3rd of January 2021 at Christchurch. They scored 659/6d thanks to a magical 238 from Williamson, and 157 from Henry Nicholls, and a 102 from Daryl Mitchell.

What India Learnt from Their Defeat in the Final

India would have been really disappointed by the performance that they put in against New Zealand, but there are five things that they can learn from their defeat, and we are going to take a look at these right now.

Better Team Composition

The composition of the team was the main reason why India lost the final. Having ignored the warnings of rain, Virat Kohli decided to stick with his initial decision of playing two spinners instead of adding an extra pace bowler or a batsman. Although Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja are trustworthy and bring a balance to the side, New Zealand took full advantage of his decision, adapted to the weather, and set themselves a course to lifting the trophy. Choosing the correct team composition is really important, and Kohli will need to improve on this if he wants to take India to the next ICC Championship Trophy final.

Pitch the Ball Up

Being able to adjust tactics is a quality that can tilt matches in your favour. A perfect example was shown by Mohammed Shami during the final. Having been quite unlucky in previous years with batters playing false shots and not getting themselves out, Shami took to the stage on Day 5 and opted to pitch the ball fuller. The change worked and he picked up four wickets.

By pitching the ball a bit fuller, Williamson's team struggled to deal with the bowling. Indian bowlers are used to pitching the ball shorter in subcontinent conditions, but when they are playing outside of the subcontinent, they need to get used to pitching the ball fuller.

Make Use of Experience

Many of Kohli's men have plenty of experience playing cricket in England. To add to his experience in many other series, Kohli is now on his third tour of England and this is the same with his teammates such as Ashwin, Shami, Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane. whenever they play abroad in places such as England, they need to make all of this experience count.

Find a Natural Swing Bowler

The lack of a swing bowler is one of India's biggest weaknesses. While the likes of Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah are great seamers, a natural swinger is something can pave the way for victory. However, unfortunately for India, they are pretty lacking in the swing bowling department. Ishant does provide a bit of swing, but the fact that they do not have an out and out swing bowler, like the great Jimmy Anderson, is something that has proved costly for India in the past. They certainly need to fill this void in some way.

Learn to Be Patient

Patience, they say, is a virtue, and during the World Test Championship final it seemed that India were lacking that virtue. The majority of Indian batsmen played poor shots to get out, which is really frustrating because we know just how talented they all are. The likes of Kohli and Rohit need to be a good example to their teammates and not dangle their bat outside off stump - sometimes the best form of attack is defence and leaving the ball is pretty good form of defence.

Which Teams Participate in the ICC World Test Championship?

There are 12 nations in the Test ICC cricket ranking, but just nine of them are allowed to take part in the ICC World Test Championship. These nine nations are Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and West Indies. The nine teams will play series or two, three, four, or five matches against six other teams. Each team will play three series at home and three away. For a complete breakdown of the number of matches a team will play, take a look at the table below:

TeamTotal MatchesWon't Play Against

Australia

18

Bangladesh and New Zealand

Bangladesh

12

Australia and England

England

22

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

India

19

Pakistan and West Indies

New Zealand

13

Australia and West Indies

Pakistan

13

India and South Africa

South Africa

15

Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

13

England and South Africa

West Indies

13

India and New Zealand

In the table below, you can see the number of matches that each team will play against their scheduled opponents.

Home/AwayAustraliaBangladeshEnglandIndiaNew ZealandPakistanSouth AfricaSri LankaWest Indies
Australia--5---3-2
Bangladesh---2-2-2-
England---5313--
India4---2--3-
New Zealand-2----22-
Pakistan2-3-2----
South Africa-2-3----2
Sri Lanka2----2--2
West Indies-23--2---

The New Points System for 2021-2023

In the first edition of the World Test Championship, the number of points up for grabs varied depending on how many matches were being played in the series. For example, in a two-match series, a win was worth 60 points, a tie was worth 30 points, a draw was worth 20, and a loss zero. On the other hand, in a five-match series, a win was worth 24 points, a tie 12 points, a draw eight points, and a loss zero points. Now, though, for the second edition, a win is worth 12 points regardless of the number of matches that are being played in the series. So, a win is worth 12 points, a tie six points, a draw four points, and a loss will get a team zero points.

N.B. A team that is behind in the required over rate when the match ends will lose one point for every over that they are behind.

Schedule for the 2021-2023 World Test Championship

Below we have listed the full schedule for you. Some of the dates are not yet known, so we will update these when more information becomes available to us.

Pataudi Trophy (England v India)

Test 1: 4-8 August 2021 (Trent Bridge, Nottingham) - Match Drawn

Test 2: 12-16 August 2021 (Lord's, London) - India won by 151 runs

Test 3: 25-29 August 2021 (Headingley, Leeds) - England won by an innings and 76 runs

Test 4: 2-6 September 2021 (The Oval, London) -

Test 5 - 10-14 September 2021 (Old Trafford, Manchester) -

West Indies v Pakistan

Test 1: 12-16 August 2021 (Sabina Park, Jamaica) - West Indies won by 1 wicket

Test 2: 20-24 August 2021 (Sabina Park, Jamaica) - Pakistan won by 109 runs

India v New Zealand

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

Bangladesh v Pakistan

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

The Ashes (Australia v England)

Test 1: 8-12 December 2021 (The Gabba, Brisbane) -

Test 2: 16-20 December 2021 (Adelaide Oval, Adelaide) -

Test 3: 26-30 December 2021 (Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne) -

Test 4: 5-9 January 2022 (Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney) -

Test 5: 14-18 January 2022 (Perth Stadium, Perth) -

New Zealand v Bangladesh

Test 1: 26-30 December 2021 (Basin Reserve, Wellington) -

Test 2: 3-7 January 2022 (Hagley Oval, Christchurch) -

Freedom Trophy (South Africa v India)

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

Test 3: Schedule Unknown

Pakistan v Australia

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

New Zealand v South Africa

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

India v Sri Lanka

Test 1: Schedule Unknown

Test 2: Schedule Unknown

Test 3: Schedule Unknown

Richards-Botham Trophy (West Indies v England)

Test 1: 8-12 March 2022 - Venue unknown

Test 2: 16-20 March 2022 - Venue unknown

Test 3: 24-28 March 2022 - Venue unknown

South Africa v Bangladesh

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

West Indies v Bangladesh

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Sri Lanka v Australia

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

England v New Zealand

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Test 3: Schedule unknown

Sri Lanka v Pakistan

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Basil D'Oliveira Trophy (England v South Africa)

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Test 3: Schedule unknown

South Africa v West Indies

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Sri Lanka v West Indies

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Pakistan v England

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Test 3: Schedule unknown

Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India v Australia)

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Test 3: Schedule unknown

Test 4: Schedule unknown

Ganguly-Durjoy Trophy (Bangladesh v India)

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Pakistan v New Zealand

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Frank Worrell Trophy (Australia v West Indies)

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

New Zealand v Sri Lanka

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Australia v South Africa

Test 1: Schedule unknown

Test 2: Schedule unknown

Test 3: Schedule unknown

Current Points Table

Below you can find the current points table for the 2021-2023 ICC Championship Trophy. We will update this for you regularly when scheduled matches are played.

PositionTeamMatches PlayedWonLostDrawnTiedPoints ScoredPercentage of Points Collected
1Pakistan211001250%
2West Indies211001250%
3India311101438.88%
4England311101438.88%
5New Zealand
6Australia
7South Africa
8Sri Lanka
9Bangladesh

Who Are Favourites to Win the World Test Championship 2021-2023?

Despite the fact that they lost to New Zealand in the inaugural final, India will still be the bookmakers' favourites to go on to lift the trophy. Virat Kohli has a wealth of talent at his disposal, both in the batting and bowling departments, that not many other captains have.

Who do we think will join India in the final when it comes around? Well, you would definitely not be chucking your money away if you bet on New Zealand to make it to the final. They have a wealth of talented batsmen in the shape of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Devon Conway. When it comes to their bowling department, batsmen will always be wary of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner.

Australia also have a good chance of making it to the final because they have some quality batsmen and some of the world's best fast bowlers. When Steve Smith is at the top of his game, there are not many better batsmen in the world, while the likes of Marnus Labuschagne proved himself in the last competition. The likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood can trouble the world’s best batsmen. They should have been in the final last year but missed out because of a points deduction for a slow overrate.

Many will probably think that England have a good chance of making it to the final, but we do not agree with that. Yes, they have some fantastic players in the shape of Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson, but we feel that the batting line up is too dependent on Root. More often than not, they are two to three wickets down with not many runs on the board, and this is because they have not been able to replace the brilliant Alastair Cook. England have a really good ODI team, but their Test team has suffered as a result.