World Test Championship Table: Surprising Changes

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World Test Championship III: Implementing the Proposed Points Table

After the conclusion of the England-Pakistan Test series, we decided to update the World Test Championship Table based on our new proposed system in Part II of the segment, WTC: Good Structure But Needs Structural Improvement.

Earlier in Part I, How can the World Test Championship improve?, we described how the Big 3 is creating an imbalance in the World Test Championship via ‘marquee’ series’ like The Ashes and what can be done to improve it.

World Test Championship: Current System

Let us recall why we are discussing changing the World Test Championship (WTC) Table in the first place. Here are some of the flaws that WTC possesses today:

  • Number of Tests Played is uneven: England play 22, while Pakistan/Sri Lanka play 13 each.
  • Currently no distinction is made for Home/Away advantage: So far, England have played 11/4 (H/A), while New Zealand have played 2/5 (H/A).
  • Number of points fluctuate depending on # of games per series: Unfair to shorter series, and hence, discriminating against lower-ranked (and less financially stable) teams.
  • All-or-Nothing System: Test matches occur over 5 days or a max-of-15 sessions. One session can have a huge impact on the series, as the First Test of Eng-Pak exhibited. Yet, the points are awarded on an all-or-nothing basis.

Table I: Current World Test Championship Table

TeamSeriesTestsPoints
PWLDPWLDT
India431097200360/480
Australia3201107210296/360
England4301158430292/480
New Zealand311173400180/360
Pakistan4*12082330166/420
Sri Lanka20114121080/240
West Indies20205140040/240
South Africa20207160024/240
Bangladesh2*010303000/180
World Test Championship Table: Current System

*Note: Bangladesh tour of Pakistan was postponed after 1 Test match (out of a 2-Test series) due to COVID. Points are calculated as if the 2-match series will be completed eventually.

Brief Review – WTC Points Table Proposed System

Recall, our points distribution proposal is a two-tiered system, based on (1) session by session data and (2) Home/Away respectively.

In our proposed system, each team plays 12 Home/12 Away tests for a total of 24 matches over 2 and a half years, where the total points possible for each team is 1200 points, for an average of 50 points per match. The criteria is as follows:

I. Session By Session
  • Session Won: 2 Points, Even/Wash-Out/Bad Light: 1 Point, Session Lost: 0 Points
  • Points Possible Per Match: 30 (15 sessions)
  • Winning team is rewarded remaining sessions if match finishes early
II. Home and Away
  • (Home Team): Win: 16 Points, Draw: 8 Points, Lose: 0 Points
  • (Away Team): Win: 24 Points, Draw: 12 Points, Lose: 0 Points
  • (Average Total): Win: 20 Points, Draw: 16 Points, Lose: 0 Points

I. Updated Points Table – Session by Session

In the last article, we displayed the process for computing the session by session and overall total score for the West Indies-England series.

After the completion of the England-Pakistan series, we went back and similarly computed session by session points for every Test match in the WTC thus far…by hand.

After analyzing the 34 Test matches completed so far (with maximum of 510 sessions) , we came up with the following summary:

Table II: (New) Series and Session Summary

TeamsMatchesSessions
Played (H/A)Won (H/A)Lost (H/A)Drawn (H/A)WonDrawnWO/BLSessions Left
India9
(5/4)
7 (5/2)2 (0/2)0
(0/0)
5619330
Australia10
(5/5)
7
(5/2)
2
(0/2)
1
(0/1)
6818915
England15
(11/4)
8
(5/3)
4
(3/1)
3
(3/0)
77453216
Pakistan8
(3/5)
2
(2/0)
3
(0/3)
3
(1/2)
2617207
New Zealand7
(2/5)
3
(2/1)
4
(0/4)
0
(0/0)
2614712
Sri Lanka4
(1/3)
1
(1/0)
2
(1/1)
1
(0/1)
1111142
West Indies5
(2/3)
1
(0/1)
4
(2/2)
0
(0/0)
72180
South Africa7
(4/3)
1
(1/0)
6
(3/3)
0
(0/0)
201344
Bangladesh3
(0/3)
0
(0/0)
3
(0/3)
0
(0/0)
2500
Proposed World Test Championship Table: Session Points

*WO/BL – Wash out/Bad Light

II. Updated Points System – Total Points Based on H/A

After computing the (I.) total session points, we add the (II.) base Home and Away score. Hence, the updated World Test Championship Table looks as follows:

Table III: New Points Table

I.Session Points
(H/A)
II.Points (Home)II.Points (Away)Points Total%Rank (By %)Rank (By Total)Rank by Session (without H/A)
India194
(130/64)
210/230112/216322/44672.19%132
Australia193
(118/75)
198/230135/270333/50066.6%223
England267
(196/71)
284/506143/216427/70260.83%311
Pakistan127
(63/64)
103/13878/270181/40844.36%444
New Zealand97
(49/48)
80/9273/270153/36242.27%555
Sri Lanka51
(29/22)
45/9234/10879/20039.5%677
West Indies43
(8/35)
8/9259/16267/25426.37%788
South Africa 65
(49/16)
65/18416/16281/34623.4%866
Bangladesh9
(-/9)
N/A9/1629/1625.55%999
Proposed World Test Championship Table: Session Points – Based on Home and Away

Observations

  • We went ahead with percentage (%) of points won for the time being, since each team has not (and will not) play the same number of Test matches.
  • Pakistan and New Zealand switch positions as compared to Table I (4/5).
  • The most recent series, Eng-Pak actually received 66-26 points. According to our method, the scores would have been 82-62, which is a much better reflection of the series (and given that Pakistan was the away team).
  • If we had utilized Rank (By Total) as in the current system, we would have England #1, Australia #2, India #3, and South Africa up to #6, who have not had a good WTC so far.
  • Australia has one extra Test match drawn away from home compared to India. Hence, they are rewarded and are ahead based on total points. If we disregard H/A, India would be #2.

*Fun Fact: 32 sessions involving England (both home and away) were impacted by wash-outs or rained out, which is more than 2 Test matches or almost 11 days.

Conclusion

Note, at this point in time, the Proposed Table and the Actual Table look quite similar, but we attribute it to the small sample size, especially for teams ranked below 5.

We conjecture that as teams play similar amount of matches, our table will benefit the lower ranked teams and hence make the championship more competitive.

We will continue to update this table as more WTC matches are played.

In the meanwhile, let us know what suggestions you have to improve this table. Comment below, and we will see if it is possible to implement the idea!

Anyway, share, subscribe, and follow us on social media!

Source: Sincere Thanks to Vandit for helping in analyzing session by session data and computing overall points.

Image Courtesy: South Africa vs England, at Newlands, Cape Town Jan 2005, Test Day 3 Louis Rossouw /CC via 2.0

About Nit-X 130 Articles
I dreamt of being a No. 3 batsman saving test matches and hitting winning runs. Well, that did not exactly go to plan, but I have since become an avid follower of the game. As long as there is a live cricket, you can guarantee that I will be checking the scorecards, watching the game live on TV, and certainly, discussing the game and statistics with family and friends.

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