Shane Watson, a veteran in Australian cricket, has kept an eye on potential finalists in the ICC World Test Championship, where the cycle is set to come to a spectacular conclusion.
Watson commended the ICC World Test Championship, noting that nearly every match now features consequence and entertainment, in an interview with Sanjana Ganesan for The ICC Review.
The nine teams have been competitively competitive throughout the 2021–2023 cycle, and as the business end draws near, every match has a significant impact on the table.
The ongoing cycle championship game is scheduled for next year, but the competition for the top two slots in the league table is getting intense. The qualification berths are now held by South Africa and Australia, but they must contend with some challenging series to keep them.
When asked to forecast the two finalists, Watson replied, “Right now, the way I see it, it is going to be difficult for South Africa and Australia to not make it.”
“They are both playing exceptionally well.” Apart from the last Test against Sri Lanka, where they were swept up in changing circumstances in the last innings, Australia played good cricket.”
“However, as the competition’s frontrunners, South Africa cannot afford a significant drop in form.” When they face England in a three-match series away from home, three defeats would drop them to a tie for sixth place with the West Indies, who still have hopes of making the final.”
‘You can never underestimate India and Pakistan’: Shane Watson
Shane Watson feels that Sloppy play would open the door for the chasing pack, particularly India and Pakistan, to make a move.
Importantly, Pakistan has home field advantage in all five of their remaining WTC matches, while India has home field advantage in four of their six remaining WTC matches.
“You can never underestimate India or Pakistan because they have so many match winners outside of their native nations,” Watson continued.
“Those two, I’d be very surprised if they don’t come knocking on the door leading into the final.”
Shane Watson was the first Australian cricketer to score a century in all three formats: Test, ODI, and T20I