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Australia aims for top Test spot in the UAE

Opportunity for Pakistan to move ahead of India, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe look to gain ground

Australia aims for top Test spot in the UAE - Cricket News
Download the Reliance ICC Rankings App via www.icc-cricket.com/mobile to predict the outcome of the series 

Australia has a chance to reclaim the top spot in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings when it faces host Pakistan in the two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which starts on Wednesday in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. 

A two-nil series win over Pakistan will lift Michael Clarke’s charges to the top of the summit – one point clear of South Africa, which currently holds top spot. A one-nil series victory will move Australia to join South Africa level on 124 points, but the Proteas will continue to hold the slenderest of 0.24 of an advantage. 

In contrast, a one-nil victory for sixth-place Pakistan, which currently lies level on points with India, will move it up two ratings places to fourth, while a 2-0 win will push them even further up the ladder into third place, 12 points behind Australia, which will lose further ground on South Africa. 

Even a 1-1 draw will see Pakistan edge clear of India, while Australia will slip three points behind the leaders. 

Australia was most recently the number-one ranked Test side between May and July 2014, before South Africa overtook them. Before then, Australia last held top spot since the new rankings system was introduced in 2002 until August 2009. 

To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Rankings Table, please click here. The Test Ranking Table, unlike the ODI and T20I Rankings tables, is updated after every series.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, Australia will be looking to the fit-again Clarke (seventh) and its top-ranked batsman David Warner (fifth) to lay the platform in its innings.
 
Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq is sitting in 10th position and Younus Khan is 11th with both batsmen separate by just three ratings points and aiming to maintain an upward trajectory.
 
In the Reliance ICC Players Rankings for Test Bowlers, Australia currently has three bowlers well-positioned to improve their ratings.
 
In the absence of number-two ranked Ryan Harris, left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson, who is currently ranked in fourth place, has Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath in his sights as he aims to shave the seven-point deficit. Johnson is joined in the top 20 by team-mates Peter Siddle (12th) and off-spinner Nathan Lyon (18th). 

Bangladesh v Zimbabwe 

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will be aiming to gain vital rankings points in their series, which starts on 25 October. 

Bangladesh is aiming to reduce a 20-point deficit on Zimbabwe and know that a series victory can boost its standing. A 3-0 series win will see Bangladesh leapfrog its rivals and claim a 14-point advantage, while a 2-0 series win will result in a nine-point lead for the host. A 2-1 victory will give Mushfiqur Rahim’s side a two-point advantage. 

With similar scenarios at play, a 3-0 win for Zimbabwe will open up a 35-point lead on Bangladesh, 2-0 series result will increase Zimbabwe’s lead to 28 points, while a one-nil win will ensure a 23 points lead for Brendan Taylor’s men over the Asian side. 

If the series ends in a 1-1 draw, Bangladesh will stay grounded, however, the deficit will reduce from 20 to 10 points.  

Taylor is the highest-ranked Zimbabwe batsman in joint-18th place, 17 points adrift of Australia’s Chris Rogers, while Bangladesh’s hopes will rely strongly on the reliable Shakib Al Hasan (in 32nd place). 

Shakib (19th) will also have a keen interest in improving his bowling ranking and, depending on performances elsewhere in the UAE, he can move ahead of Australia’s Lyon. Right-arm fast medium bowler Tendai Chatara is the leading bowler in the African nation’s side in 43rd place. 

Potentially, three players from the top five of the ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders can each make positive strides in their attempt to claim the number-one spot. Bangladesh’s Al Hasan is currently best placed in second position to reduce India’s Ravichandran Ashwin seven-point advantage at the summit.

Upcoming fixtures 

Pakistan v Australia
22-26 Oct – 1st Test, Dubai 
30 Oct-3 Nov – 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi

Bangladesh v Zimbabwe
25-29 Oct – 1st Test, Mirpur
3-7 Nov – 2nd Test, Khulna
12-16 Nov, 3rd Test, Chittagong

Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 21 October, ahead of Pakistan-Australia and Bangladesh-Zimbabwe series) 

Rank     Team               Rating     
1            South Africa       124       
2            Australia             123
3            England               104       
4            Sri Lanka            101       
5            India                     96       
6            Pakistan               96         
7            New Zealand       93         
8            West Indies         75         
9            Zimbabwe           39         
10          Bangladesh         19          

(Developed by David Kendix) 

Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 21 October, ahead of Pakistan-Australia and Bangladesh-Zimbabwe series):

Batsmen 

Rank    Player                  Team     Points    Ave        HS Rating
   1         K. Sangakkara     SL          915       58.76    938 v Eng at Kandy 2007
   2         AB de Villiers     SA         888       51.02    935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014
   3         S.Chanderpaul     WI         887       53.10    901 v NZ at Napier 2008
   4         Angelo Mathews SL          873!      52.65    873 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014
   5         David Warner      Aus        871!      46.54    871 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   6         Hashim Amla      SA         863       51.32    907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
   7         Michael Clarke    Aus        818       51.50    900 v SL at Melbourne 2012
   8         Ross Taylor         NZ         795       46.43    871 v WI at Hamilton 2013
   9         Joe Root               Eng        789!      50.94    789 v Ind at The Oval 2014
  10        Misbah-ul-Haq    Pak        762       46.92    824 v SL at Sharjah 2014
  11        Younus Khan       Pak        759       51.41    880 v SL at Lahore 2009
  12        Steven Smith       Aus        737*!    40.02    737 v SA at Cape Town 2014
  13        K. Williamson     NZ         728!      40.28    728 v WI at Bridgetown 2014
  14        Faf du Plessis      SA         707*!    52.58    707 v Zim at Harare 2014
  15        M. Jayawardene  SL          702       49.84    883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009
  16        C. Pujara              Ind         691       49.26    851 v SA at Durban 2013
  17        Chris Rogers        Aus        675*     38.14    694 v Eng at Sydney 2014
  18=      Brendan Taylor   Zim        652*!    35.73    652 v SA at Harare 2014
              Ian Bell                Eng        652       45.00    822 v Ind at The Oval 2011
  20        B. McCullum       NZ         651       37.10    724 v Ind at Wellington 2014

Selected Rankings 

Rank     Player                  Team     Points    Ave        HS Rating
  24        Asad Shafiq         Pak        621       36.85    680 v SA at Cape Town 2013
  26        Azhar Ali             Pak        611       38.41    753 v SL at Pallekele 2012
  32        Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        582       37.96    603 v WI at Khulna 2012
  33        M. Rahim            Ban        571       33.60    598 v WI at Kingstown 2014
  35        Brad Haddin        Aus        568       35.26    637 v WI at Perth 2009
  36        Mominul Haque  Ban        567*     62.64    584 v NZ at Mirpur 2013
  37        Tamim Iqbal        Ban        565       36.89    707 v Eng at Old Trafford 2010
  50        Sarfraz Ahmed    Pak        482*!    32.53    482 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2014
  57        M. Hafeez            Pak        442       33.96    595 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2012
  58        H. Masakadza      Zim        440*!    27.12    440 v SA at Harare 2014
  63        Phillip Hughes     Aus        424       32.65    599 v Eng at Lord's 2009
  66        Ahmed Shehzad  Pak        399*     35.90    403 v SL at Sharjah 2014
  71        Mahmudullah      Ban        387*     28.36    445 v NZ at Hamilton 2010
  75        Shaun Marsh       Aus        380*     32.86    432 v SA at Centurion 2014
  77        Sikandar Raza     Zim        377*     42.00    385 v Pak at Harare 2013
  81        V. Sibanda           Zim        356*     21.96    378 v WI at Dominica 2013
  82        Tino Mawoyo      Zim        347*     30.26    396 v Pak at Bulawayo 2011
  85        Mitchell Starc     Aus        340*     30.78    368 v Eng at The Oval 2013
  87        Alex Doolan        Aus        335*     31.00    435 v SA at Centurion 2014
  90        E. Chigumbura    Zim        333*     20.66    358 v Pak at Harare 2013
  91        M. Johnson          Aus        332       22.12    477 v Eng at Lord's 2009
  92        Malcolm Waller  Zim        328*     25.73    334 v Pak at Harare 2013 

Bowlers 

Rank     Player                  Team     Points    Ave        HS Rating
   1         Dale Steyn           SA         907       22.56    908 v Pak at Johannesburg 2013
   2         Ryan Harris         Aus        870!      22.56    870 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   3         Rangana Herath   SL          851!      29.06    851 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014
   4         Mitchell Johnson Aus        844!      27.42    844 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   5         James Anderson  Eng        806       29.72    813 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011
   6         V. Philander        SA         785       21.57    912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
   7         Tim Southee        NZ         783       29.83    799 v WI at Kingston 2014
   8         Stuart Broad        Eng        774       29.90    783 v WI at Lord's 2012
   9         Kemar Roach       WI         768!      25.98    768 v Ban at St Lucia 2014
  10        Saeed Ajmal        Pak        762       28.10    855 v Zim at Harare 2013
  11        Trent Boult          NZ         737*     27.45    767 v Ind at Wellington 2014
  12        Peter Siddle         Aus        733       29.37    816 v Eng at Old Trafford 2013
  13        R. Ashwin            Ind         710       28.65    808 v WI at Mumbai 2013
  14        Morne Morkel     SA         707       29.90    776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011
  15        Pragyan Ojha       Ind         691       30.26    773 v Eng at Kolkata 2012
  16        Junaid Khan         Pak        652*!    28.83    652 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2014
  17        Abdur Rehman    Pak        650*     29.39    739 v Eng at Dubai 2012
  18        Nathan Lyon        Aus        607       32.99    648 v Eng at Melbourne 2013
  19        Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        601       33.36    680 v WI at Mirpur 2011
  20        Ishant Sharma      Ind         588       36.75    671 v WI at Dominica 2011 

Selected Rankings 

Rank     Player                  Team     Points     Ave       HS Rating
  36        Mitchell Starc     Aus        399*     33.60    432 v Eng at The Oval 2013
  43        Tendai Chatara    Zim        360*!    26.11    360 v SA at Harare 2014
  62        Mahmudullah      Ban        266*     46.91    381 v WI at St George's 2009
  64        T. Panyangara      Zim        251*     31.11    303 v Pak at Harare 2013
  68        M. Talha              Pak        239*     40.88    241 v SL at Galle 2014
  78        Rahat Ali             Pak        203*     45.31    271 v Zim at Harare 2013
  80        Taijul Islam         Ban        178*!    38.62    178 v WI at St Lucia 2014
  84        H.Masakadza       Zim        151*     27.00    249 v Ban at Harare 2013
  85        Rubel Hossain     Ban        147*     82.29    161 v Zim at Harare 2013
  87        Michael Clarke    Aus        141*     37.16    265 v NZ at Wellington 2005
88          Steven Smith       Aus        138*!    47.90    138 v SA at Cape Town 2014
  91=      John Nyumbu      Zim        130*!    36.20    130 v SA at Harare 2014
  94        Shafiul Islam       Ban        123*!    62.81    123 v WI at St Lucia 2014
  97        Zulfiqar Babar     Pak        117*     44.00    158 v SA at Abu Dhabi 2013
  99        E. Chigumbura    Zim        114*     48.68    177 v Ban at Chittagong 2005 

All-rounders 

Rank     Player                  Team     Points    HS Rating
   1         R. Ashwin            Ind         357*/    419 v WI at Mumbai 2013
   2         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        350       404 v Pak at Mirpur 2011
   3         V. Philander        SA         348*/    376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
   4         Stuart Broad        Eng        296       382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012
   5         M. Johnson          Aus        280       384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009 

* 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, go to www.relianceiccrankings.com.

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