Cricket Australia's decision of postponing their South Africa tour has proved to be advantageous for the New Zealand team. The Kane Williamson-led side have now become the first team to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final (WTC 2021 final). The Kiwis have a stunning chance to redeem themselves after their anguishing ICC World Cup 2019 final Super Over loss to England. It is worth mentioning that the WTC 2021 final is also slated to be held at the Lords, just like the ultimate contest of the 2019 World Cup.
Gary Stead, who currently serves as the head coach of the New Zealand cricket team will be mighty pleased after his team reached a step closer to clinching the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. Stead, in a media interaction on Thursday, mentioned how it was a special feeling to make it to the final. He also jokingly revealed that he is well versed with the rules this time, and there will be no Super Over as well.
The coach revealed that if the contest ends in a tie or a draw, the championship will be shared by both the finalists. He also opined that the 2019 loss is a thing of the past, and it no longer haunts him. Stead put emphasis on focusing on the upcoming assignments instead.
While it remains to be seen which other teams join New Zealand at Lords, the upcoming India vs England series will ultimately determine the second finalist. India, who currently are at the top of the World Test Championship standings with 71.7 percentage points will have to win the home series by at least a two-match margin to make it to the Final. England, who are fourth with 68 percentage points, also have an outside chance if they manage to win the Indian vs England Test series by 3-0, 4-0, or 3-1. Australia also have an outside chance of making the cut.
New Zealand 🆚 _______?— ICC (@ICC) February 2, 2021
One spot is up for grabs for all of India, England, and Australia to make it to the ICC World Test Championship final.
Find out more about the #WTC21 qualification scenarios 👇
In July 2019, England were crowned world champions despite having tied the Super Over against New Zealand in a nail-biting 2019 World Cup final at Lord's. That was the first time a Super Over was used in a 50-over World Cup final. Chasing 16 in the Super Over, New Zealand managed 15, but England won because they scored more boundaries in the match and in the Super Over and Kane Williamson & Co. missed out on their maiden World Cup title.
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