With the ICC acting CEO Geoff Allardice confirming that the World Test Championship (WTC) points table will continue to be determined on the basis of percentage of points contested, albeit with a tweak of equal weightage per match, in the next cycle, we checked if the table would retain the same outlook it does if this system was followed right from the start.
As per the percentage of points system, the teams will have the chance to earn points from only those matches it has contested and progress accordingly in the WTC standings. This was a change adopted last year after the pandemic severely affected various matches and led to their cancellation. The aim was to ensure that, irrespective of the number of games and series lost, each team has a chance to make the tournament final.
For the next cycle, the WTC points table will be determined by this method entirely, but with one important change that each match will have equal weightage in terms of points. Independent of whether it’s a two-match series or a five-match one, teams will start on an equal footing in every Test match across the globe.
Keeping in mind two things – 1) teams will be striving for equal number of points in every match irrespective of the series length and 2) that they will be ranked according to the percentage of points won from these matches – today we’ll see how teams would’ve been stacked up if the system was implemented from the very beginning.
For the purpose of this, we’ll assume the value of every Test win to be 30 points, with a draw giving teams 1/3rd of the winning points.
How would the WTC points table look like with amendments?
India would’ve still topped the WTC points table, with 12 wins, 4 losses and a solitary draw from their 17 matches. The shift, if applied from the very beginning, would’ve increased India’s percentage of points earned by a shade from 72.2 (as is right now) to 72.54.
Virat Kohli and company were the most affected side when the percentage model was implemented last year, midway through the campaign, as they fell off their numero uno spot and slip below Australia (82.22%) with a percentage of 75 (360 out of 480 points won) but ultimately made the cut. The lack of change in India’s position is a sign that the percentage model, with equal weightage per match, is an effective method.
2. New Zealand
New Zealand would’ve retained their second position in the tweaked WTC points table. The Kiwis, who won seven and lost four of their 11 matches in the campaign, would’ve had a dip in terms of percentage of points earned (from the existing 70% to 63.64) but they would’ve still avoided slipping below their spot in the table.
Australia would’ve gotten 256 points (unlike 322 in the original table) from their 14 matches, including 8 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws, as per the newly adopted model. Their percentage of points would’ve dropped from 69.2% to 61.90 but they could’ve still secured the third position (even while accounting for points lost through the over-rate breach against India).
England would’ve had to still settle with the fourth position in the WTC points table after winning 11, losing 7 and drawing 4 of their 21 matches. As per the newly adopted method, England’s percentage of points earned would’ve been 57.14, as opposed to the original 61.4 (with 442 points).
Pakistan finished fifth in the original points table with a percentage of 43.3 (286 points) after winning 4, losing 5 and drawing 3 of their matches. But, while they would’ve retained their position, their percentage would’ve dropped off a bit to 41.67 (150 points) if the new model was in place from the start.
6. South Africa
The Proteas would’ve retained their sixth position, but with a dip in their percentage of points earned (from 37.8 to 33.33) with 4 wins from their 12 matches (so far), including 8 losses and no draws. The Proteas final standings reflect their disappointing decline as a Test side in the last few years.
7. West Indies
West Indies are placed seventh in the original table with a percentage of 30.3, having won only three and lost seven of their twelve fixtures, including a couple of draws. The Calypso Kings would’ve had no respite for their performance by the new model as well and would’ve stayed at their spot, although with a few decimals extra in terms of points (30.55).
8. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka managed to secure all six of their planned series despite the pandemic but their insipid performance couldn’t save from the misery. They finished eighth in the original points table with 27.8% of points earned through 12 matches, including just 2 wins, 6 losses and 4 draws. As per the new model, they would’ve remained eighth in the table with nearly the same percentage of points earned (27.77%).
Bangladesh were easily the most pandemic-hit side in the first cycle of WTC. They could only finish three of their planned six series and had just seven matches accounted towards the WTC points table. They lost six of those matches and secured one draw. While the previous system gave Bangladesh 4.8% of points earned from their matches, the new one would’ve reduced it to 4.76%.