England and South Africa will square off at the Oval with everything on the line with the three-match series set at one each. Not just for the overall series, but also for the minor issue of the World Test Championship (WTC) points chart.
With a victory, the hosts, who are currently in seventh place on the standings, could still have a chance to make the final. Losing will not affect Dean Elgar and the company’s present standings, who are only below Australia in the table, but it will undoubtedly give the three Asian teams that are below them a little more room to maneuver.
Chances for other teams
The three teams in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively, Sri Lanka (53.33%), India (52.08%), and Pakistan (51.85%), stand to gain the most if South Africa (66.67%) loses a series.
Later this year, the Proteas will also travel to Australia, which received a score of 70%. A three-match series that could result in one or both of the competitors losing WTC percentage points.
India, who during this Championship cycle have defeated New Zealand and Sri Lanka at home, dropped some significant points by losing the three-match series in South Africa (2-1) and drawing the five-match match in England (2-2).
A road series against Bangladesh and a home series against Australia remain for the team captained by Rohit Sharma.
The World Test Championship final may be held at The Oval rather than The Lord’s. Australia and South Africa, who now hold the top two positions in the league, will most likely compete in the 2023 World Test Championship, which has not yet been scheduled. The ICC needs a “clean” site for its own sponsors and partners, thus pre-existing commercial arrangements at Lord’s are thought to be posing a problem.