Although India might have not been able to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, coming close yet missing out against New Zealand in the final, they will yet again start as one of the favourites to secure a berth in the summit clash. The Virat Kohli-led side will look to go one better this time and bring the Test mace home.
The Men in Blue's fixtures for the next cycle of the Championship has been confirmed and will see India tour England, South Africa and Bangladesh, in addition to playing Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka at home.
The new cycle of the World Test Championship is set to begin in August 2021 with the cut off set in March 2023. As per the original format, each side will play three home and three away series. While India’s 2021-23 Future Tours Programme (FTP) were already released earlier, the schedule has now been confirmed.
England vs India
The brand new cycle of the Test championship for India will commence with their tour of England, where they are set to play five Tests. India is already in the United Kingdom and will play a warm-up match from July 19 before the series in August-September.
India vs New Zealand
India's next Test assignment after the England tour could be the home series against New Zealand. The Blackcaps are scheduled to play two Tests although further details are awaited on the series.
South Africa vs India
Kohli-led side's next overseas red-ball Test would be in South African conditions. A tentative date of December 2021-January 2022 is likely for this series.
India vs Sri Lanka
Before IPL 2022, Sri Lanka is also scheduled to tour India for a three-match Test series as well as a T20I contest.
India vs Australia
While India registered a historic win during their tour in 2020-21, the Aussies would look to do the same when they travel India. This could be scheduled around October-November next year.
Bangladesh vs India
Post the India-Australia series, the Indian team is scheduled to tour Bangladesh for a two-match series. This should be the last series involving India in the second cycle of the Test Championship.
ICC announce new points system for second World Test Championship
Unlike the first edition of the Test Championship which saw changes being made to the points system midway through the tournament due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the ICC has made a streamlined points system this time around. While the previous edition attributed a total of 120 points for a series, irrespective of the number of matches played in that bilateral competition, the second cycle will see the same accreted points for each match- a maximum of 12 for a Test.
Moreover, teams are set to be ranked on the percentage of available points they won from the matches they have played. While a win will give the team a total of 12 points, points for a draw will be 4 and for a toe would be six.