DUBAI: India and Pakistan possess a number of match winners and it would be surprising if the two teams don’t come close to qualifying for the finals of the World Test Championships, feels former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson.
The final of the ongoing cycle is set to be played next year, but the race for the top two spots in the league table is heating up.
Last edition’s finalists India will host Australia for four of their six remaining WTC matches, while the remaining two will be away matches against Bangladesh. Pakistan, on the other hand, have home advantage in all of their remaining five fixtures.
“You can never discount India and Pakistan, because they’ve got so many match winners, outside of their home countries as well,” Watson said on The ICC Review.
“Those two, I’d be very surprised if they don’t come knocking on the door leading into the final.”
Currently, South Africa and Australia are occupying the top two positions in the World Test Championships standings, followed by Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.
“Right now, the way I see it, it’s going to be hard for South Africa and Australia to not make it”, Watson said, when asked to predict the two finalists.
“They’re both playing really good cricket. Australia played good cricket apart from that last Test against Sri Lanka where they got swept up in turning conditions in the last innings.”
Watson, who boasts of a 59-Test appearances for Australia, lamented the late introduction of the WTC.
“Yes, I wish I did (play in the WTC). Even in my playing days, in Test cricket, there was a lot of talk about the ICC World Test Championship coming into play, and it took way too long to be put into place, and unfortunately, I missed out on it,” he said.
“I was very fortunate to play a ‘Super Test’ in 2005, Australia against a World XI, which was something very special – it was one of the first Test matches I played.
“That was special to be a part of, but this is even more so, to be able to win an ICC event and it being in Test cricket. For the current playing group, Test cricketers around the world, it’s very special to know there’s a culmination coming with a (WTC) final.” — PTI