Indian have been deposed by Australia in the World Test Championship before a single ball of their much-anticipated series has been bowled. That was after the ICC decided to change the scoring system used for the Championship due to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Previously the system counted incomplete matches as draws, but now that has been amended, and teams are awarded points from matches that have actually been contested.
As a result, Australia, with 296 points from three series, have overtaken India with 360 points from 4 series, with a points percentage of 82.22% compared to 75% (the number of games in each series is taken into account, so it is not just a matter of straight arithmetic!). England New Zealand are currently third and fourth, respectively.
Before we get too outraged by the change, it needs to be pointed out that the ICC Committee that recommended the amendment is headed by an Indian – legendary spinner Anil Kumble, the third most successful bowler of all time in test cricket behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.
The rationale behind the change is that it rewards teams for their performance on the pitch and does not unfairly penalise those who have been unable to play games due to the global health crisis this year.
First begun in 2019, the World Test Championship is played over a two-year cycle and features the top nine of the 12 test playing nations. Each of the teams is meant to play six of the other eight teams in the group. The top two teams at the end of that period will play in the final, the first of which will be staged at Lords in England next June.
Currently just fewer than 50 percent of the matches have been played. The ICC are hoping to get that number above 80% by the end that the current cycle comes to an end.