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by Alastair Symondson & International Cricket Council Monday 24 December 2018
The scenario in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings is interestingly poised with top-ranked India currently playing in Australia, New Zealand engaged in a series against Sri Lanka and now South Africa getting set for a Boxing Day opening to their three Tests against Pakistan.
All three series have a bearing on the top five positions, with South Africa having the advantage of knowing what they can reap rewards in home conditions. Currently placed third, South Africa have a chance to leapfrog England to second place but also face the danger of being overtaken by their rivals Pakistan and slipping to sixth place.
South Africa are two points behind England and a 2-0 win will take them to 108 points and above England on decimal points. A 3-0 win will carry South Africa to 110 points, and to within one point of India, should India lose the remaining two matches to Australia. On the other hand, a 3-0 series loss will see South Africa drop to 99 points with Pakistan reaching 100 points.
India, who currently enjoy an eight-point lead over England, will end the series against Australia at 111 points with a 3-1 series loss but will go up to 118 points with a 3-1 series win.
In the other ongoing Test series, New Zealand, who had a chance to go up to 109 points and second place with a 2-0 series win, will now be looking to reach 107 points by winning the second match after the opening match ended in a draw. Sri Lanka will be on 91 points in such a scenario but go up to 96 if they win the second Test. New Zealand will slip to 100 points if they lose.
In the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, South Africa’s top-ranked fast bowler Kagiso Rabada gets a chance to increase his lead of eight points over England’s James Anderson, while third-ranked Vernon Philander will have to fight it out against Pakistan’s fast-rising fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, who trails him by only five points.
Spinner Keshav Maharaj (19th) and formerly top-ranked Dale Steyn (24th), tied with former all-rounder Shaun Pollock at 421 wickets as the highest-wicket taker in Tests for South Africa, will also get a chance to work their way up.
South Africa v Pakistan
26-30 December – 1st Test, Centurion
3-7 January – 2nd Test, Cape Town
11-15 January – 3rd Test, Johannesburg
MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 24 December, before the South Africa-Pakistan series):
MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 24 December, before the South Africa-Pakistan series):
Batsmen (top 10)
Other selected rankings
Bowlers (top 10)
All-rounders (top five)
*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
!indicates career-highest rating
For more information on player rankings, please click here.
©Cricket World 2018
ICC - International Cricket Council