After all the suspense, thrilling Test matches and uncertainty we finally have our two WTC finalists! India have now officially reached the WTC final after being England and winning the series 3-1. R Ashwin knocked the stumps to end a fine innings by Dan Lawrence and with the dismissal the off-spinner also completes his fifer. Meanwhile, England were bundled out for 135 as hosts win the contest by an innings and 25 runs. They also clinch the four-match series 3-1 and will now take on New Zealand in the World Test Championsip finals.
Earlier, Pant had smashed 101 runs to help India come out of a hole at 146/6, trailing England by 59 runs. Pant strung together a crucial partnership with Washington Sundar to give India a big lead, which was extended by Sundar and Axar. Axar, Ashwin and Siraj had combined to dismiss the visitors for a low score on day one after Root had decided to bat first on winning the toss. It was a series where the duo of Axar and Ashwin spun a web around the English batsmen. Root’s double century in the first Test was the only innings of substance from the visitors throughout the course of the series. The final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship will now be played out from June 18 to 22 with June 23 acting as a reserve day. The decider was originally scheduled to be held from June 10 to 14 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. However, the schedule was pushed forward keeping in mind the proximity between the WTC final and the final of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League — dates yet to be officially announced — and any quarantine period that players might have to go through with an eye on the coronavirus pandemic.
England’s defeat in the final Test also means curtains for Australia, which needed its Ashes rival to win in order to pip India to the WTC final. Saturday’s win also took India to the top of the WTC points table and the ICC Test rankings. India finished the league phase with 520 points, which includes 12 wins, four loses and one draw. New Zealand finished second spot with 420 points, including seven wins and four loses. Australia finished third with 332 points ahead of England and Pakistan.
India needed to win the series at least by a margin of 2-1 to inch ahead of Australia and they did it with a 3-1 verdict. In the WTC final, India will face New Zealand at Lord’s, England, from June 18. Before the series it was a three-way tie between India, Australia and England for a place in the WTC final. England needed to win the series at least by a margin of 3-1 to enter the title clash and they raised the vision of that unimaginable feat once they won the first Test at Chennai.
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