After a grueling cycle of two years, the World Test Championship(WTC) has finally found its top-two contenders in India and New Zealand. Having been commenced with the opening Test of Ashes 2019, nine teams fought in over 25 series combined with India finishing at the top spot.
Introduced by the ICC with the aim to contextualize Test cricket, which was increasingly losing its shimmer amongst the many competitive short-format tournaments. The inaugural edition of the WTC was jolted by the pandemic, with the scheduling being changed multiple times.
Both the sides are highly competitive and have been through it all, from a one-sided win to a highly thrilling last-over finish. Anyone could win the title, But if the game ends up in a tie or a draw?
Road-blocks in World Test Championship:
The pandemic not only altered the schedule of the fixtures but even how the points are allocated. While the initial system was based on points distributed evenly over the number of Tests in the series. Due to the pandemic, the calculations were amended by the ICC after the realization that it is no longer in a situation to complete the cycle as per the schedule.
A new regulation came into place that suggested that any match that was not completed will be counted as a draw with points split, which was superseded to determine the finalists based on the matches that could be completed.
This change led to a new calculation system which said that the current finalists have been decided on the basis of the percentage of points, which they have earned from the Tests they have contested for. At one point, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli in a press conference seemed a bit unhappy about the percentage point system.
What if final match ends in a tie or a draw?
The biggest query remains on what if India vs New Zealand affair at Southampton results in a draw or tie. The ICC has not announced any tie-breaker formula, for the inaugural cycle at least, which means that the two teams will be held joint champions.
Although an announcement for a reserve day has been made, which is supposed to come into play should net playing time be lost due to any reason whatsoever. Net playing time for every Test amounts to 30 hours of play i.e., six hours a day.
The reserve day cannot be used to procure a result or outcome but only to compensate for the lost time or overs. It has been clarified that if some overs are lost because of weather or bad light during the regular five days, only that many overs will be played on the reserve day, and not an entire day will be used to get to an outcome.
Both the teams will be facing each other on the 18th of June at Southampton to win the World Test Championship title.