India's Upcoming 5-Match Test Series Against England To Begin The 2nd Cycle Of ICC WTC
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India’s Upcoming 5-Match Test Series Against England To Begin The 2nd Cycle Of ICC WTC

Virat Kohli, Joe Root
Virat Kohli, Joe Root

India’s upcoming five-match Test series against England which will start on August 4 will reportedly begin the second cycle of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23. The inaugural cycle of the WTC 2019-21 came to an end earlier this month with New Zealand beating India in the final at Southampton to win the title.

The cycle that runs from August 2021 to June 2023 will see just two series of five matches – the upcoming England and India Tests and the Ashes in December this year. Australia’s tour of India in 2022 will be the only series of the cycle to have four Tests.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

India Will Play 19 Tests After England Who Will Play Most 21 Tests While Inaugural WTC Winners New Zealand Will Play Only 13 Tests

Overall, there will be seven three-match Test series and 13 two-match Test series. As was the case with the inaugural WTC, each of the nine teams will continue to play a total of six series – three home and three away – as part of the championship. Virat Kohli’s team takes on Joe Root’s side in a 5-match series starting August 4; this series is the only other series than The Ashes 2021-22 to comprise 5 Tests in this WTC cycle. Australia’s tour of India next year is the only four-Test series in WTC 2; there are 7 three-Test series and 13 two-series.

India's Skipper Virat Kohli With England Skipper Joe Root
India’s Skipper Virat Kohli With England Skipper Joe Root (Image Credit: Twitter)

While Joe Root’s England is scheduled to play the maximum number of Tests (21) during the 2nd cycle, WTC 1 runners up India is second with 19 Tests followed by Australia (18) and South Africa (15). The new World champion New Zealand is scheduled to play just 13 Tests, one less than Pakistan and as many as West Indies and Sri Lanka.

New Points System In Place For WTC 2

ICC has decided to allot each Test the same number of points. The winning team will get 12 points, whereas a draw will result in four points each while a tie will see the opponents awarded six points each.

Additionally, teams are set to be penalized for slow over-rates. For every over that the team falls behind, one point will be deducted from their overall tally. The schedule and venue for the final are yet to be decided. In the inaugural cycle, each series rather than a Test was worth the same number of points.

ICC logo
ICC logo. (Credits: Web)

“The aim was to try and simplify the points system and to allow teams to be meaningfully compared on the table at any point, though they may have played differing numbers of matches and series,” ICC’s acting chief executive officer Geoff Allardice was quoted as saying.

Kane Williamson’s New Zealand won the Test mace and are ranked the number 1 ICC Test side after defeating India in the final in Southampton last week. The venue for the final of WTC 2 has not been decided yet.

These bilateral series were finalized by the Full Member Boards in 2018 before the ICC locked them into the 2019-23 Future Tours Programme. None of the series that was cut short or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the first WTC cycle, will be carried forward into the second cycle. Bangladesh is the only country among the nine contestants to play two matches in each of their six series in WTC 2.

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