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2023 World Test Championship final Major Guide: How to watch, lineups, daily updates

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World Test Championship

The action is underway in the World Test Championship final, between the Aussies and India. Here’s everything we know.

We’ve been starved of competitive, international cricket since Australia’s four Test match tour of India. But the wait is over. The second ever three-year window of the World Test Championship came to a close with both those sides qualifying for the final. Thankfully, this Test will be played on neutral turf, not farcically dusty sub-continent pitches.

Australia has been the standout side in the longest format of the sport since 2021, winning eleven matches and losing only three – one before the India tour. India, on the other hand, squeezed into second place and book the other spot for the final in England later this year, winning six of their last nine Test matches.

It’s an unprecedented event, considering the two sides have never faced each other in a Test match in England. But India might feel it has an edge, considering the cricket powerhouse was involved in the previous and inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand in 2021.

But with so much unknown and neither side having claimed honours previously in the fairly new format, here’s everything you need to know to be up to date.

How to watch the World Test Championship final in Australia

Channel 7 / 7 Plus, exclusively

Cricket fans will be able to tune in on free-to-air TV, or stream via Seven’s app.

Channel Seven have won the rights to broadcast the standalone feature match, after Seven West Media struck a deal with the ICC (International Cricket Council). Seven of course broadcast all the domestic cricket, alongside Fox Cricket, but this will mark the first time in over 20 years that the network will air a Test match offshore.

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2023 is undeniably a defining year for Pat Cummins’ team.

In January, Seven signed a seven-year $455 million dollar deal with Cricket Australia to continue showing all men’s and women’s Tests, T20 Internationals and feature Big Bash games.

2023 World Test Championship final

AUSTRALIA v INDIA | The Oval, London, June 7-12, 2023

The final of the 2021-2023 World Test Championship will be played at iconic venue The Oval in London; England also played host to the previous final two years ago. It will mean so much to Aussie fans, but some of the unavoidable lead-up conversation will be centred around the reality that the match will also act as a serious warm-up ahead of their five-Test Ashes series in England later that month.

World Test Championship
World Test Championship ladder

Both sides will be watching the Indian Premier League (IPL) closely, with many of their players contracted to franchises within the competition. The IPL only finishes a week before the WTC final, which looms as a slight problem; the lack of red ball preparation, little time to acclimatise to English conditions and the ever-present concerns of a busy cricketing schedule.

Updates

Australia: 469 & 270-8 declared | India 296 & 164-3 (stumps, day 4)

DAY 1 | Stumps: Australia 3-327 (T.Head 146*, S.Smith 95*, Warner 43)

DAY 2 | Stumps: India trail by 318 runs with 5 wickets remaining (Head 163, Smith 121)

DAY 3 | Stumps: Australia lead by 296 runs with 6 wickets remaining (Labuschagne 41*, S.Smith 34)

DAY 4 | Stumps: India need 280 runs to win with 7 wickets remaining (Kohli 44*)

DAY 5 | Australia won by 209 runs

Teams

AUSTRALIA: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland

Others: Marcus Harris, Matt Renshaw, Michael Neser, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis, Todd Murphy

INDIA: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

Others: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Jaydev Unadkat, Mukesh Kumar

What is the World Test Championship?

Put simply, it’s a nine-team global competition that crowns the best Test team in the world across a two-year period; the final played between the two top teams at the end of the allocated time. Each Test match and series has points up for offer that, once collected, go towards that nation’s competition points and subsequent ladder.

The tournament has added a new-found excitement to world Test cricket that incentivises winning at all time and places importance on every match across the two-year duration. As is sometimes lacking in various international cricket series, the World Test Championship adds extra context to Test cricket.

This final between Australia and India is the second of its kind after the latter faced off against New Zealand in 2021 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Who won the previous World Test Championship final?

New Zealand

The inaugural World Test Championship winner was decided in Southampton, between India and New Zealand, where the latter secured an eight wicket win. It happened between June 18-23 in 2021.

World Test Championship
New Zealand celebrate their World Test Championship victory in 2021.

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl, restricting India to sub-220-run innings to secure are well fought for victory. Black Caps seam bowler Kyle Jamieson was awarded Player of the Match, with seven wickets across the two innings.

Only two players managed to score over 50-runs in the final and both were from New Zealand – Devon Conway and Kane Williamson – with 49 from Ajinkya Rahane the highest score for the runner-ups.

Let’s not forget what Virat Kohli said about the last final

In what was and still is a head-scratching statement that was made before the commencement of the previous World Test Championship final, Indian superstar batsman Virat Kohli claimed the result is not a true reflection on who is the best team.

Rather than ramping up the hype surrounding his side’s match against New Zealand, the former Indian captain made surprising remarks in a probable attempt to alleviate pressure from his team.

“If you’re talking about Test cricket and deciding who is the best team in the world on one game over a period of five days, that is not the reality of the truth,” Kohli stated.

“It is not going to reflect anything for people who really understand the game and who know exactly what has gone on over the last four of five years and how the teams have fared.”

Kohli proceeded to float the idea of a three-game series to decide the winner which hasn’t been ruled out as a possibility in the future.

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