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
*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
|Played (H/A)||Won (H/A)||Lost (H/A)||Drawn (H/A)||Won||Drawn||WO/BL||Sessions Left|
|7 (5/2)||2 (0/2)||0 |
*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
|II.Points (Home)||II.Points (Away)||Points Total||%||Rank (By %)||Rank (By Total)||Rank by Session (without H/A)|
- 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.
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!
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Source: Sincere Thanks to Vandit for helping in analyzing session by session data and computing overall points.