India has qualified for the World Test Championship 2021–23 final, where they will face Australia for the trophy at The Oval in London starting on June 7, after to New Zealand’s stunning victory against Sri Lanka in Christchurch on Sunday. With this, India has now advanced to consecutive WTC finals after losing to New Zealand in the previous cycle’s summit match.
After New Zealand’s stunning victory over Sri Lanka in Christchurch, it was a two-horse race between Sri Lanka and India for the remaining slot in the World Cup by the time India played Australia in their final Test of the cycle in Ahmedabad.
The qualification scenario was a little complicated for Sri Lanka because they needed India to lose or draw in Ahmedabad in addition to winning both of their Test matches in New Zealand. The sort of start India made and their own dominance in the first few days in Christchurch would have raised their aspirations, but the ambition of reaching the final was dashed on a rain-hit Day 5 and a last-ball defeat.
India’s journey in this second cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) began in August-September 2021 with the Test series in England under the Kohli-Shastri administration, where they won both games in London and took a 2-1 series lead before the coronavirus pandemic forced the fifth Test to be postponed indefinitely. By the time they played the format again—a two-match home series against New Zealand—Rahul Dravid had advanced to fill Ravi Shastri’s vacancy. Following a tie in Kanpur, India won the series in Mumbai.
The hosts also had a difficult start in the fourth Test due to Australia’s impressive first innings total, which kept Sri Lanka in the game. Nonetheless, that was only true until the final day in Christchurch was essentially ruined by rain, when New Zealand successfully chased down their target on the penultimate ball, ensuring India’s qualification.