The last time India made the cut for the inaugural edition of the WTC, they faced New Zealand in the summit clash (2019-21) and lost by 8 wickets in Southampton. This time they will be up against an opposition who they have just beaten 2-1 in a home series – Australia.
The Aussies in fact have been the most impressive team in this cycle of the WTC (2021-23) and are right on top of the points table, with 152 points and a PCT (Points percentage) of 66.67%.
India could have entered the final of the WTC directly with a 3-1 or 4-0 series win against Australia. But they had to be content with a 2-1 scoreline. And that meant that they needed New Zealand to beat Sri Lanka or draw in at least one of the two Tests of their ongoing Test series. The Kiwis beat the Lankans in the first Test in Christchurch by 2 wickets off the last ball of the match. The Lankans needed to win this series 2-0 to pip India to the WTC final, but the result on Monday meant that India booked the second spot in the final, dispute drawing with Australia in their 4th and last Test in Ahmedabad.
The WTC final for the 2021-23 cycle will start on June 7 at the Oval in London.
Ahead of that big clash between India and Australia in what will be a neutral venue for both teams, TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the WTC points table and how it stands right now, with Australia and India having booked their spots in the final: