NEW DELHI: Humbled in Indore, an outright victory in Ahmedabad will seal India’s place in the World Test Championship final against Australia but if Rohit Sharma
‘s team loses or plays a draw, its fate will depend on the outcome of the Sri Lanka-New Zealand series.Australia by virtue of their nine-wicket win in Indore have already qualified for the grand finale at the Oval from June 7-11.
Australia are sitting atop the WTC table with 68.52 percentage points (PCT).
Percentage points are calculated when points earned by a team are divided by the points contested for.
A team earns 12 points for a win, four for a draw and six in case it’s a tie.
As of today, Australia have 148 points by virtue of 11 wins and four draws from 18 matches. Playing for 216 points on offer, they have a PCT of 68.52.
Even if Australia lose the fourth and final Test against India, they would still remain on top with 64.91 PCT (148/228×100).
Australia crush India in 3rd Test, qualify for WTC final
Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne held their nerve on a viciously turning Indore pitch to guide Australia to a nine-wicket victory.
Indore Test win is only Australia’s second Test victory in India since 2004.
After Australia were thrashed in the first two Tests inside three days, the series now stands at 2-1 to the hosts with one match remaining.
Labuschagne finished on 28 not out and Head on 49, having lost opener Usman Khawaja to only the second ball of the day.
The dogged victory secured Australia a berth in the ICC World Test Championship final in June at The Oval.
India will be sure of their place in the final if they win the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
In a low-scoring and frenetic encounter, Australia skittled India for 109 on day one with spinner Matthew Kuhnemann claiming five wickets.
In reply Australia made a solid start before collapsing to 197 all out before lunch on day two, their last six wickets tumbling for just 11 runs.
Eight wickets for spinner Nathan Lyon saw India bundled out for 163 in their second innings, setting up a victory target of 76.
Chasing 76, Australia lost Usman Khawaja early. Khawaja edged R Ashwin to keeper Srikar Bharat for a duck.
After 45 minutes, Labuschagne and Head changed gears. Head launched Ashwin for a six over mid-on and the next over drilled Ravindra Jadeja down the ground for a four as the shackles came off.
Labuschagne too got in the act, hitting Jadeja for a four and dismissing a short Ashwin delivery on a half-volley for four more to bring a rare Australia win in India in view.
What happens to India
India’s PCT is 60.29 after earning 123 points in 17 Tests (10 wins and 2 draws) so far. India have lost a few points during the course of this cycle due to slow over rate.
If India win the last Test, their PCT will go up to 62.5 with 135 points from a maximum of 216 on offer (18 Tests). They will then retain their second position and will qualify for final.
However, in case of a defeat, India’s PCT will drop to 56.94 and then they will have to depend on the result of Sri Lanka‘s away-series against New Zealand.
In case of a draw, India’s PCT will drop to 58.79 and even then they will have to wait for the result of the Sri Lanka-New Zealand series.
Ditto in case of a tie where India’s PCT will be 59.72.
3rd Test: How Nathan Lyon tore the heart out of Indian batting line-up
Not for the first time, Nathan Lyon tore the heart out of the Indian batting line-up earning his second-best Test figures in the process.
Lyon took 8/64 in India’s second innings to turn the match on its head on Day 2.
The tumultuous Test match fell on Lyon’s well-weathered fingers to bail Australia out.
Lyon found that perfect length for the pitch, bowled attacking lines and bagged the wicket if one slightly turned or went with the arm.
The perfect example on Day Two of the Indore Test was the dismissal of India’s wicketkeeper KS Bharat.
The ball ripped one straight through the batter’s defences by getting him to play the wrong line while thinking about possible turn.
Lyon bowled around the stumps, again relentlessly, for a majority of his spell, and let helpful pitches like the one at the Holkar Stadium do the rest.
Lyon’s bowling is a perfect reflection of the fact that he doesn’t quite fit the ‘flashy genius’ mould of some past Aussie spinning greats.
Lyon found in Smith an old and able ally as a pro-active captain who kept things interesting with restrictive fields and men in catching positions to slowly strangle India.
Lyon’s deeds in the sub-continent speak for themselves and in essence, the off-spinner is all about persistence.
How can Sri Lanka qualify
Sri Lanka’s only shot at the final qualification will depend on a 2-0 victory in New Zealand which is one of the toughest away assignment for sub continental teams.
Sri Lanka’s current PCT is 53.33 with 64 points from possible 120 (10 Tests).
If India happen to lose, draw or tie final Test and Sri Lanka win the series 2-0, their PCT will be 61.11 with 88 points from a maximum 144 points at stake.
But if Sri Lanka draws even one game and win 1-0, their maximum PCT will be 55.55 which will be less than what India (56.94) will have even if they lose the final Test.