ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle ends after New Zealand clean-sweep Sri Lanka

Toby Marshall
22 March 2023
ICC World Test Championship 2021-23

The ICC World Test Championship period for 2021-23 has ended, with the exception of the final match between Australia and India at The Oval in June. The second Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, which ended in a comfortable innings and 58-run victory for New Zealand, was the last match of this cycle. Sri Lanka showed some fight on the fourth day, but ultimately Tim Southee’s three-wicket haul ensured their defeat.

New Zealand’s win in the second Test helped them move up from eighth to sixth place in the World Test Championship standings. Meanwhile, Pakistan and West Indies each dropped a spot following the final Test of the period. The points system for this cycle awarded 12 points for a win, and 4 for a draw, and the placings were determined by percentage points.

India and Australia have qualified for the second edition of the Test Championship final, which will take place from June 7th to 11th at the Oval in England, with a reserve day on the 12th. Each team played in six Test series, including three away and three home matches during this cycle.

Australia has won the ICC World Test Championship cycle for 2021-23 with a points percentage of 66.7. They have played 19 matches, winning 11, losing 3, and drawing 5. They began their cycle with a 4-0 win over England in the Ashes played on Australian soil, with one Test match drawn from December 2021-January 2022. They defeated Pakistan in an away series, winning by 115 runs at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, to gain 12 valuable points. They went on to claim another victory in Sri Lanka before losing the 2nd test to draw the series. Australia hammered West Indies by 2-0 to gain 24 points and won the Test series at home against South Africa by 2-0, with the third Test match ending in a draw. Their last assignment was a series in India, which they lost comprehensively.

India finished second in the World Test Championship cycle with 58.8 percent points. They played 18 matches, winning 10, losing 5, and drawing 3, including 5 penalty points. India started their on a bright note as they drew the series in England 2-2. They won the Test series against New Zealand by 1-0 at home, and they showed their domination by winning the series against Sri Lanka by 2-0 at home. They lost their first series in this cycle with a 1-2 loss to South Africa in South Africa, but they kept their hopes alive with a 2-0 series win over Bangladesh on Bangladesh soil in December 2022. In their last series, they hammered the Australians 2-1 on home soil to make it through to the final. They won the first two Test matches before losing the third one badly in Indore, and the fourth Test match ended in a draw.

South Africa finished in third place in the ICC World Test Championship cycle with a percentage point of 55.6. They played 15 Test matches, winning 8, losing 6, and drawing 1. They began their cycle with a famous 2-1 series win over India at home and showed great promise with a 1-1 draw over New Zealand in New Zealand. They were dominant at home once again, beating Bangadesh 2-0 with most of their first-choice players missing. They lost their first Test series this cycle, losing to England, and were completely outplayed by Australia with a 0-2 series loss. They hammered the West Indies at home 2-0 to complete their run in this cycle.

England have played the most number of Test matches in this cycle, with a total of 22 matches played. They won 10, lost 8, and drew 4 matches. They struggled under the captaincy of Joe Root with a 0-4 loss to Australia in the Ashes, lost to West Indies by 0-1 away from home, and drew a home series against India. Under the captaincy of Ben Stokes, they whitewashed New Zealand by 3-0 at home and registered a 2-1 series win over South Africa at home. They registered a historic whitewash over Pakistan in Pakistan by 3-0, but they did not play Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in this WTC cycle.

Author Toby Marshall