India have been fined 40 per cent of their match fee and penalised two ICC World Test Championship (WTC) points for maintaining a slow over-rate against England in the rescheduled fifth Test in Birmingham. The two lost points meant that India now have slipped behind Pakistan in the WTC table. Pakistan have a win percentage of 52.38 and have jumped to third while India have a win percentage of 52.08 and thus have slipped to fourth.
The two points have made India’s road to the WTC final even more difficult. India have six Tests left, four against Australia at home and two against Bangladesh. India need to win all their games to safely quality for the final. However, Australia are a formidable side and cannot be taken for granted.
If India fail to win the series 4-0, they could get into trouble as their win percentage could dip below 65, which will significantly dent their chances of WTC final berth. Australia, Pakistan and South Africa are also in contention thus every point is like gold for India.
Among all, Pakistan have the best chance of qualifying for the final as they play all their remaining seven games in the subcontinent. They play five Tests against England and New Zealand at home and then play Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Beating Pakistan at home will not be easy for any team thus they will fancy their chances of winning those five games. Sri Lanka also are not in great form at the moment and Pakistan will back themselves to win against them as well. If they win all games, they will qualify for the final with ease.
For the remaining slot, India, Australia and South Africa will battle. Australia have 11 Tests remaining in the WTC cycle. If they win six out of those 11, they will have a win percentage of over 65. South Africa also can make it to the final but they will have to beat either England or Australia away from home which will not be easy. Thus the loss in Edgbaston has put India in a tricky position where they have no option but to win all their remaining games.