While it was New Zealand, who clashed against India in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, the second edition can see two new sides make it to the final. Currently, South Africa rule the roost, with 75 PCT, ahead of Australia, who possess a 70 PCT. The Proteas increased the gap at the top with a stunning innings win over England away from home.
Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson insisted that it would be hard for the Proteas and Australia not to make it to this year’s WTC final. Watson also credited Australia’s efforts against spin in Sri Lanka earlier this year.
"Right now, the way I see it, it’s going to be hard for South Africa and Australia to not make it," Watson said on The ICC Review. "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.
With the PCT system in play, South Africa would still need to be vary of the fact that they could end outside the top two, if they lose Test matches in the near future.
"Even as the front-runners in the competition though, South Africa cannot afford a serious dip in form. Taking on England in a three-match series away from home, three defeats would see them fall all the way down to a share of sixth place with the West Indies, who still harbour aspirations of a final appearance."
Two teams that are shadowing the top two in the WTC table are India and Pakistan. With India set to face Australia later next year, it could very well be a deciding series for who might play South Africa in the final. Pakistan too are placed fifth, with 51.85 PCT.
"You can never discount India and Pakistan, because they’ve got so many match winners, outside of their home countries as well. Those two, I’d be very surprised if they didn’t come knocking on the door leading into the final," Watson said.