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England must beat New Zealand to retain second position

If Alastair Cook fails to win the series, England will be ranked below India on the Reliance ICC Test Championship table

England must beat New Zealand to retain second position
 - Cricket News
England captain Alastair Cook and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum with the trophy at Lord's Cricket Ground.
England starts its busy domestic international season on Thursday when it takes on New Zealand in the first Test at Lord’s and needing to win the two-Test series to retain its second position on the Reliance ICC Test Championship table.  

Second-ranked England leads eighth-ranked New Zealand by 31 ratings points and this gap means the home side must win the series convincingly. As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, failure to win the series will mean England will drop points.  

If the series ends in a draw, like it happened earlier this year in New Zealand, then England will drop two ratings points to join India on 112 ratings points. And when the ratings will be calculated beyond the decimal point, then Alastair Cook’s side will be ranked below Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side.  

In contrast, if England wins the series 1-0, then it will retain its pre-series rating while in case of a 2-0 win it will gain one ratings point to move to 115 rating. 

England’s bowlers hold the edge in rankings

Meanwhile, in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, as many as six batsmen from either side will feature in the two-Test series These include England captain Alastair Cook in sixth, Matt Prior in 10th, Jonathan Trott in 12th, Ross Taylor in 13th, Ian Bell in 17th and New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum in 19th.

The batting table is headed by South Africa’s Hashim Amla, while Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies is second and AB de Villiers of South Africa third.

It is in the bowling list that England enjoys a cutting edge, with its entire first-choice attack- James Anderson (seventh), Graeme Swann (eighth), Stuart Broad (14th)and Steven Finn (17th) featuring inside the top 20.

Dale Steyn of South Africa sits on top of the bowlers’ tree, followed by team-mate Vernon Philander and Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka.

Upcoming Fixtures

England v New Zealand

16-20 May: 1st Test, Lord's

24-28 May: 2nd Test, Headingley

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