India qualify for WTC final after New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in Christchurch
Even if Sri Lanka win the next Test, they will finish below India - irrespective of the result in Ahmedabad - on the WTC points table
India have qualified for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), setting up a date with Australia for the biggest global honour in the format. Their presence in the final was confirmed after New Zealand pulled off one of the most dramatic wins ever, off the last ball of their first Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch, by two wickets.
The WTC final race had gone into Monday, with the results of both Test matches - in Ahmedabad and in Christchurch - equally relevant. If Sri Lanka had beaten New Zealand, they would have stayed in the race - if India didn't win in Ahmedabad - but with Kane Williamson hitting an unbeaten 121 and Daryl Mitchell scoring a quick 86-ball 81, New Zealand pulled off a win that didn't look possible for the longest time, off the very last ball of the game. The result put Sri Lanka out of the running for the WTC final.
Now, following their loss in Christchurch, even if Sri Lanka win the next Test, they will only go up to 52.78 points. That will be lower than India's 56.94 even if India go on to lose the Ahmedabad Test. If they draw - as looks most likely - India will finish on 58.80. Australia have already qualified: even if they lose in Ahmedabad, they will end with a percentage of 64.91.
Australia and India are the only teams which have won at least twice as many Tests as they have lost in the current WTC cycle (in Tests which counted towards the WTC). Australia have been stellar with a 11-3 win-loss record so far, with series wins against England, West Indies and South Africa (home), and Pakistan (away). They also drew in Sri Lanka (1-1), with the only series defeat coming in India (assuming a draw or a defeat in Ahmedabad).
India have a 10-5 record in this cycle, with series wins against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia (assuming they win or draw in Ahmedabad) at home, and Bangladesh away. They drew 2-2 in England, and lost 2-1 in South Africa.
The WTC title contest will take place at The Oval in London from June 7.