New Delhi: South Africa will have a chance to join India at the top of the ICC Test Team Rankings when the two sides go face to face in the three-Test series starting in Newlands, Cape Town, on Friday, 05 January.
Faf du Plessis’s side is presently 13 points behind Virat Kohli’s team, which is sitting on top of the table on 124 points. However, both the sides will finish on 118 points if the South Africa side makes a clean sweep of the series.
Nevertheless, even in that scenario, India will be ranked above South Africa when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. In such a situation, India will be on 118.47 points, while South Africa will be on 117.53.
On the other side of the coin, if India win all the three Tests of the series, then they will move to 128 points while South Africa will slip to 107 points.
The following are the series permutations:
· South Africa 3 India 0 – South Africa will join India on 118 points but India will be ranked first by a fraction of a point
· South Africa 2 India 1 or South Africa 1 India 0 – South Africa 115 India 121
· South Africa 2 India 0 – South Africa 116 India 120
· India 3 South Africa 0 – India 128 South Africa 107
· India 2 South Africa 1 or India 1 South Africa 0 – India 125 South Africa 110
· India 2 South Africa 0 – India 126 South Africa 109
· Drawn series – India 123 South Africa 112
Meanwhile, Australia have been guaranteed third place in the ICC Test Team Rankings after leading the series 3-0 with the fifth and final Test to begin in Sydney on Thursday, 04 January. However, England will have to win the Test to avoid finishing in fifth place.
If Australia win the series 4-0, then they will finish third on 104 points and England will end on fifth with 99 points, while a 3-1 series win for Australia will mean they will finish third on 102 points and England in fourth on 101 points.
The ICC Test Team Rankings, unlike the ODI and T20I rankings, are updated after the end of a series.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, India’s second-ranked Virat Kohli will aim to break the 900-point mark for the first time in his career.
The in-form right-hander is presently on 893 points and a solid performance will potentially see him join the select group of players with a rating of 900 or more, which in ranking terms is an indication of a player’s quality, as to achieve it a player has to be among the very best over a protracted period.
India’s Cheteshwar Pujara is 20 points behind Kohli in third place, while Hashim Amla of South Africa is the other player who features in the top 10, in seventh position.
Amongst the bowlers, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is breathing down number-one ranked James Anderson’s neck. Second-ranked Rabada is nine points behind Anderson and depending on how the two bowlers perform in the coming days, there could potentially be a change at the top of the order.