WTC Rankings after New Year’s test at SCG and Newlands

The New Year’s tests have been concluded at Sydney Cricket Ground and Newlands. Here is a look at the WTC Rankings after the two tests.

The customary New Year’s test at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Newlands Cricket Stadium has been concluded. The test at Newlands Cricket Stadium created a few infamous and famous records. The Indian team after losing the opening test at Centurion needed to win the second test to draw the series. While in Australia, the visitors, Pakistan were still in search of their first victory down under since 1995. Australia managed to keep their record books against Pakistan clean by registering an 8-wicket win. This article will summarise the two recently concluded tests, the updated WTC rankings and what is next for the teams.

Australia vs Pakistan at Sydney

Both teams were in the headlines for the wrong reasons before the start of the match. Australia’s opener, David Warner playing his farewell test match had misplaced his baggy green cap which was later found during the test match. Pakistan on the other hand rested Shaheen Shah Afridi the leader of their inexperienced pace attack. At a time when South Africa’s squad announcement to tour New Zealand is already under criticism, Pakistan’s decision to rest Shaheen brought more fire to the ongoing controversy.

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Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first and scored 313 runs courtesy of Mohammad Rizwan’s knock of 88 and Aamer Jamal’s knock of 82. Jamal while batting with number 11, Mir Hamza added 86 runs to the total before being dismissed by Nathan Lyon. Jamal with the ball in hand took six wickets in the second innings handing Pakistan a slender lead of 14 runs.

Pakistan in the third innings was bowled out for just 115 runs and let Australia get back into the driver’s seat. Warner playing his final innings in test cricket scored a half-century as Australia won the match by eight wickets.

South Africa vs India at Newlands

While Australia and Pakistan were battling in Sydney, the match at Newlands was already concluded. India took only 107 overs to defeat South Africa at Newland for the first time in test cricket creating multiple records on the way.

South Africa after winning the toss had elected to bat first a decision they would regret in hindsight. The Proteas were bowled out for just 55 runs in the first session with Mohammed Siraj picking his best figures of 6/15. This was South Africa’s lowest score in test cricket since readmission. India in reply, scored 153 runs taking a useful 98-run lead on a tricky but would feel like they missed an opportunity to bat South Africa out of the match. With Virat Kohli and KL Rahul in the middle at 153/4, India looked set to take a handy lead but then went on to lose their next six wickets without scoring any runs. This was also a record for losing the most wickets without scoring any runs.

Aiden Markram in the third innings scored a century which might remain the best in 2024. Markam scored 106 runs on a pitch where no one from the two teams scored a half-century. India chased the target of 79 runs with quite ease losing just three wickets.

WTC Rankings after New Year’s Test

Position

Team PCT (%) Points

Matches

Series

Penalty

Wins

Loss

Draw

1

Australia 56.25 54 5 2 1 2 -10

2

India 54.16 26 2 1 1 2 -2

3

Bangladesh  50 12 1 1 0 1 0
New Zealand 50 12 1 1 0 1 0
South Africa 50 12 1 1 0 1 0

4

Pakistan 36.66 22 2 3 0 2 -2

5

West Indies 16.66 4 0 1 1 1 0

6

England 15 9 2 2 1 1 -19

7

Sri Lanka 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
  • Australia

The defending champions have started their defence of their title positively and after two series against England and Pakistan, they remain at the top of the table. Australia kept their record against Pakistan clean and whitewashed the visitors. In eight matches they have played so far, Australia has won five games,  lost two and drew one. During the Ashes, they received a 10-point penalty for slow over rate that has hampered their lead. Their next assignments come against West Indies at home and New Zealand for the away series. Their road to the WTC Final will depend a lot on when they host India later this year.

  • India

Still searching for silverware, India was the runner-up in the last two editions of WTC and is in a great position to qualify for the finals once again. India too like Australia faced penalties for slow over rate in the first test against South Africa. India lost the Boxing Day test at Centurion but won the New Year’s Test at Newlands Cricket Stadium to draw the Freedom Trophy. India will host England at home for a five-match test series as their next assignment. England under the leadership group of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum has produced great results and can prove to be dangerous at home for India.

  • Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa

Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa have played one two-match series each. Bangladesh hosted New Zealand for a series where Bangladesh won the first test while New Zealand bounced back to win the second test. South Africa hosted India against whom they have had great results in past at home. The Proteas won the first test but lost the second test. 

Bangladesh does not have any tests scheduled soon. New Zealand and South Africa will go head-to-head in New Zealand for a two-match test series.

  • Pakistan

Pakistan have slipped from second to fourth after suffering a whitewash defeat at the hands of Australia. Pakistan in the Benaud-Qadir Trophy suffered a two-point penalty for slow over rate. The Shan Masood-led side does not have any tests scheduled in the near future.

  • West Indies

West Indies will feel that luck is on their side to be in the 5th position. They will face Australia in Australia and might just move to a lower position after the two-match test series is concluded.

  • England

Despite winning two and drawing one out of their five matches, England is in the second-last position just above Sri Lanka who have lost both their games. England is the worst-affected team out of everyone by slow over-rate penalties. They faced a 19-point deduction during the Ashes. The Ben Stokes-led side will tour India for a five-match series and will be looking to get some crucial points from the series.

  • Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has played a two-match series against Pakistan and is yet to win any single game. Their next tour will come in England where they might struggle against the Bazball side.