Friday, 20 January 2012

ICC Test Rankings - Now and the near future

With Australia leading 3-0 against India at the moment, South Africa having beaten Sri Lanka 2-1 and Pakistan winning the first test match against England, the team rankings might become a little tighter contest than what it is now. Currently the ICC team rankings for the top 6 teams are as follows:

South Africa
Sri Lanka

Here’s a look at the rankings of India and Pakistan, teams whose ratings have had an impact with the recently concluded matches and what the future might not hold for them:


Rewinding back to the beginning of 2011, India was the top test team of the world, at 126 points, way ahead of the second-placed team: South Africa (117) and England (116) who was third. They were super-confident, their batting order was the most feared – full of legends and it was the dream for any team to have a bowling attack which could disrupt their domination. Victories against West Indies at home and away did not affect them as the 4-0 loss against England did. It is the reason of their current second place, and with the matches in Australia going horrible, Team India fans are in for bad news.
Scenario 1: If Team India wins the Adelaide test, the result will be 3-1 in favour of Australia. The points in that case will take Australia to 108 and India to 113 (at third place behind South Africa). Had South Africa lost to Sri Lanka, this might not have been the case, but with the loss of 3 test matches, India is assured to be down to the third spot.
Scenario 2: If India draws, the result will be 3-0. Australia will up at 110 points and India will be third, still at 112 points but the point difference is worryingly close for India. With India playing their next test series against Sri Lanka in July and Australia facing West Indies in March, 12 – if Australia beat West Indies by 3-0, then they will be joint third with India.
Scenario 3: If India loses, the result will be 4-0. That would take India to 111 points and Australia to 111 as well. India will still be third (due to favourable point difference), but an Australian win in West Indies by at least 2-0 will take Australia to the third spot.

It has been quite a journey downwards for India after dominating the test rankings from December 2009 to August 2011. A series win in Australia would have brought them up close to the first rank and with Pakistan beating England in Dubai, India would have had a possibility of being crowned team no 1 again. Their best case is now to win at Adelaide, and hope for a West Indian win against Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka beating England massively and New Zealand beating South Africa and then winning against Sri Lanka in July.


It has been a great 2011 after a horrible 2010 for Pakistan. Back at the beginning of 2010, they were 7th placed at 80 points – after a humiliating 3-0 defeat against Australia. Things never looked like improving when the spot fixing scandal occurred and Pakistan was looking at lows that no team in the history had ever seen. With the board not helping the situation, it needed a miracle to survive and get out of the hole. Enter Misbah ul Haq: Under his captaincy Pakistan first drew 0-0 with South Africa, drew with West Indies 1-1, beat New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka 1-0 and Bangladesh 2-0. As a result Pakistan slowly crept up from a low of 80 points to 99 before the current series against England.

With the upset at Dubai, Pakistan have made sure that the horrible times they experienced back then are now long forgotten and here’s a rejuvenated team ready to take on the best – without any drama and with all seriousness and sincerity.

Scenario 1: Worst case for Pakistan would be losses in both tests at Abu Dhabi. That will be one demoralizing and damaging experience for a team who has grown out of the gloom into something that is nothing short of an extraordinary resurrection. Pakistan in that case will stay on 99 and England on 125 points.
Scenario 2: England come back and ties the series 1-1. England will go down to 123 points whereas Pakistan will go up to 102 points. That is not bad for a team, considering they were down at 80 points around 24 months ago. With the next series for Pakistan, against Bangladesh, it looks like the result at the end of this series will leave Pakistan at a rank which is going to be fairly stable for a while unless Sri Lanka, who play England at home beat the visitors 2-0 to jump to 104 points to overtake Pakistan.
Scenario 3: Pakistan wins the current series by 1-0 or 2-1. Win by 1 test match will take Pakistan to 105 points, which will be beyond Sri Lanka’s reach in March. It will drop England to 120 points, which would be close to South Africa’s reach (they are at 117 and play New Zealand soon).
Scenario 4: Pakistan win by a 2-0 or a 3-0. 2-0 will take Pakistan to 107 points, and 3-0 to 108 points but it will establish them as a number 5 ranked team, which is close to the 4th ranked Australia and far away from the 6th spot held by Sri Lanka. It can then be said that Pakistan will be a safe number 5. A West Indian win in the series against Australia then will take Pakistan to the 4th spot, since Australia will fall to 106 points (that is if Aus–Ind series result remains 3-0).

Regardless a win in the series will take Pakistan guaranteed over 100+. The last time they had 100+ points in the rankings charts was in May 2007 – when Pakistan were 3rd placed at 108 points. After a tumultuous almost 3 years and a recovery, Pakistan is back to where it was.

We will be posting a summary of player rankings as of now and their associated rise and fall on the charts soon.

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Damn that's some great detailed analysis. Well written SOAQ !! I look forward to reading more and good luck to all the teams.

Go England :) not cause they are playing g Pakistan, I just enjoy watching them play. Also, hoping for an Aussie with in the 4th test. But most importantly that 100th hundrered for the little master.

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