New Zealand cricket team
New Zealand turned out to be the surprise package of the World Test Championship when they qualified for the final on Tuesday. Image Credit: AFP

Kolkata: Kane Williamson’s New Zealand made history when they became the first team to qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final, to be held in England from June 18-22 with June 23 as the reserve day.

A International Cricket Council (ICC) release says that the postponement of the Test series between South Africa and Australia meant New Zealand have become the first team to qualify for the showpiece event as they are currently ranked second on the ICC WTC table with a points percentage of 70 per cent, which has secured them a place in the final.

It’s a huge step forward for the Kiwis, who have been historically recognised as a greater force in white ball cricket, but their awesome record at home had been a huge clincher. The ‘Big Three’ of India, England or Australia will now have to strive for the second finalist’s spot - which will be determined by the outcome of the India versus England four-match Test series due to start on Friday.

To book their place, India will have to win the series against England by 2-1, 2-0, 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0 margins. For England to qualify and join New Zealand, they will have to win the series against India by 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0 margin.

Australia can still qualify for the much-anticipated ICC WTC final if the series between India and England ends up as a drawn series or if India win the series 1-0 or England win it by 1-0, 2-1 or a 2-1 margin.