Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has predicted the finalists of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2021-23. New Zealand are the defending champions, who defeated India in the finals in Southampton last year.
Meanwhile, the current edition is beautifully poised with many teams in the running for the final two slots. India, who slipped to the fifth spot after 1-2 defeat against South Africa, have recuperated beating Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs in the first Test. Rohit Sharma & Co will look to improve their stand when they play the Islanders in the final game of the series.
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On the other hand, New Zealand have drawn the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa which have put their chances in jeopardy. Aakash Chopra also believes the Kiwis will not be in the race to defend the World Test Championship title.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, the 44-year-old commentator said:
“They (New Zealand) have only 2 Tests remaining at home. They have drawn series against Bangladesh and South Africa. New Zealand won’t qualify. Even if they win their remaining two Tests at home against Sri Lanka, they have two Tests away against Pakistan (and 3 against England). It is over for them, they won’t qualify.”
Speaking about India’s chances, Aakash Chopra reckoned that the Asian Giants need to win their remaining games to give themselves a chance.
“India need to get 100 percent points in the four-match series against Australia. You cannot draw, you have to win all four games. We’re likely to win against Sri Lanka 2-0. We have to play Bangladesh away, I’m confident we can win there. And the one one-off Test against England. We lost the series in South Africa, so it is not going to be easy,” Chopra added.
It will be a Australia-Pakistan final – Aakash Chopra on World Test Championship finalists
The cricketer-turned-commentator reckoned that India, Australia and Pakistan will be in reckoning for the two final places.
“I am not counting England, Bangladesh, West Indies, and I won’t count New Zealand as well. I don’t think Sri Lanka have a chance at qualification. I believe it will be between three teams — Australia, India, and Pakistan. If Pakistan don’t prepare such roads, there’s a strong possibility of a Pakistan-Australia final,” he added.