ICC Test Team Rankings – Interesting weeks ahead

December 14, 2016 | By

After losing the 4th Test, England is now dethroned from number 2 spot for at least some months. Australia has jumped to number 2 and England have slipped to number 4, for now, behind Pakistan at number 3. England will not be able to reclaim the number 2 spot regardless of the result of their Final Test against India or the result of Pakistan vs Australia series.

Australia vs Pakistan Series has now become a battle for number 2 spot with potential of serious damage to the ranking of losing team. The winner will move to number 2 spot, however, the losing side will end up number 4 or number 5 ranked side in the world.

For Australia, the equation is simple. Win all 3 Tests and increase the distance from number 3 by at least 6 or 7 points (depending on how England perform in the Final Test against India). Or, face the scare of ending the summer at number 5. Regardless of the margin of defeat against Pakistan, if it happens, South Africa will be required to defeat Sri Lanka only by 1 Test to leap forward, pushing Australia to number 5.

For Pakistan, losing the series even 1-0 will mean a guaranteed demotion to number 5. In the worst case of 3-0 defeat, Pakistan will end up 5th in the rankings with 97 points, fractionally ahead of Sri Lanka and New Zealand breathing down their neck with 96 points. However, with Sri Lanka scheduled to play 3 Tests in South Africa, in between December 26 to January 15, Pakistan may slip down to even number 6 by mid-January. All it would take is Pakistan to lose 3-0 to Australia and for Sri Lanka to win 1-0 against South Africa – unlikely but theoretically possible.

Then, New Zealand is scheduled to host Bangladesh for 2 Tests in between January 12 to January 24, and if Kiwis manage to win that series 2-0, Pakistan will slip down to number 7, that would be the lowest for any of the top competing sides. West Indies, the number 8 ranked team, is way behind at 69 points. So, theoretically speaking, the team that captured the ICC Test Mace just a couple of months ago may see themselves drowned to number 7 in just 4 to 5 months’ time. Pretty scary but a possible picture in just a few weeks’ time – by the end of January.

That makes the plan even simpler for Pakistan. Win the series against Australia and consolidate at number 2 or face the danger of slipping into oblivion.

The writer is a Cricket blogger and commentator, also reachable on his personal blog (www.facebook.com/krick3r / www.twitter.com/krick3r)

Kamran Muzaffar

Kamran Muzaffar is an author at ScoreLine and has written numerous articles published at ScoreLine.org.

He is an experienced cricket commentator, analyst and writer. He also features in TV talkshows and news bulletins as Penalist and Cricket Expert.

You can connect him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

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